TigsTown.com - Wendy Smith

Blaise Salter Excelling in Home State

In the 31st round of the 2015 MLB draft, the Detroit Tigers made an in-state selection with Bloomfield Hills native and Michigan State University first baseman, Blaise Salter. After growing up a longtime Tigers fan, it was definitely a dream true for the Spartan and his family.

“It was pretty cool, it’s kind of like a dream come true playing for the Tigers,” Salter said. “I was at home with my parents and thankfully I received a call. My parents started crying and what not because it’s a pretty emotional journey and a big part of their life that they took to invest in me.”


Now, playing in Comstock Park, Michigan and his home state, Salter feels extremely comfortable with where he’s at.


“It’s just an honor and was a dream of mine as a kid growing up in Michigan, it’s just awesome that I’m able to live out my dream as a kid because I always wanted to play for this organization. It’s pretty cool waking up each day to play baseball for a living because it’s something that not a lot of people get to do, but I’m fortunate enough to do just that,” he added.


Now in his second professional minor league season, Salter continues to tear up the Midwest League as he continues to sit atop the league in RBI and doubles. Someone that Salter credits for his success is longtime college teammate and best friend, Cam Gibson, who was also drafted by the Tigers, just 26 rounds earlier than Salter.


“Cam and I have been best friends for a while, so it’s cool that we both got selected by the Tigers. It’s good to be on the same team with him again because we both know how to help each other out in certain situations and we feed off of each other.”


Gibson is consistently hitting in the two-hole of the West Michigan Whitecaps lineup while Salter continues to hit fourth, leading to an increase in RBI numbers when Gibson and the ‘Caps get on base ahead of him.


“He knows what he has to do in the lineup, he understands my strengths and I understand his. It’s good we’re back together and hopefully we can keep it going,” Salter said.


As two key cogs in the Whitecaps offense, Gibson and Salter are helping to lead the charge as West Michigan nears a first-half Midwest League championship. While Salter has always been a consistent hitter, some approaches have changed under minor league baseball legend and hitting coach Mike Hessman.


“My approach has definitely changed,” Salter stated, “Hessman and I have done a lot of work. I’ve been a guy in the past that has gotten pull-heavy when I’m struggling but I’ve pretty much stayed to the right side of the field. Even in batting practice, I used to try to hit home runs but now I’m trying to hit everything consistently to the right side with line drives, that’s when my swing feels best.”


The 2017 Midwest League All-Star has a lot of people to credit for his success but most of all, this roster has helped him rack up monstrous accolades thus far.


“If you look at the stats, you can see I have a decent amount of RBI but that’s big-time credit to the guys that hit in front of me. (Danny) Woodrow, (Jacob) Robson, Gibby, those are three of the fastest guys in the league and I’m fortunate enough they hit in front of me. I’ve hit a lot of balls where other guys in the league probably wouldn’t have scored and those guys have bailed me out many times, just giving me those RBIs. I’m happy to be hitting behind those guys and it’s paid off in the win column, hopefully that continues.”


The 23-year old Salter will represent the ‘Caps in the Midwest League All-Star game on June 20 at Dow Stadium in Midland, Michigan where the Great Lakes Loons will host.

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