The Milwaukee Brewers made some solid trades at the deadline, acquiring notable players to strengthen their roster. However, amidst all the excitement, one particular acquisition stands out as remarkably underrated - Bradley Blalock.
Recovering from Tommy John surgery, Blalock has emerged as a legitimate pop-up prospect in the 2023 season. Armed with an impressive repertoire, excellent control, and eye-catching statistics, he has the potential to become a game changer for the Brewers' prospect pipeline and bring a new level of excitement to the organization. Let's delve into the numbers that make Bradley Blalock a prospect worth watching closely.
Bradley Blalock could be an overlooked trade pickup for the Brewers from this year's trade deadline.
Blalock's 2023 season debut on May 24 marked a huge return from Tommy John surgery. Sporting a fastball that sits at 93-95 mph and touches 97 mph, he has already showcased a plus-or-better pitch.
In just seven starts at High-A, Blalock has recorded 36 strikeouts in 35.1 innings, translating to an impressive 11 strikeouts per nine innings. Additionally, he has kept opponents off the scoreboard with a solid 2.55 ERA and 3.65 FIP.
His impressive control is evident from his low 6.2 percent walk rate, which is particularly encouraging for a pitcher coming off Tommy John surgery. Blalock's secondary pitches have also shown remarkable growth in quality. His curveball, ranging from 77-82 mph, features huge depth and has become another reliable weapon in his arsenal.
Furthermore, he has added a harder gyro slider, complementing his already impressive repertoire. Blalock's changeup is still a work in progress, but his arm slot ability to spin the baseball makes it likely that he will continue refining his slider until it becomes his third weapon rather than the changeup.
The 2023 season is Blalock’s 40-man evaluation year, potentially making him a candidate for Rule 5 Draft protection this offseason. His fastball and curveball have shown a potential to get big league outs, and despite currently being at High-A, his impressive performance and progress suggest he could be fast-tracked to the big leagues, especially as a reliever.
Blalock's Rule 5 eligibility adds a layer of complexity to the situation. Ideally, it would have been more favorable if he wasn't eligible for the draft this winter. Nonetheless, the Brewers have a promising prospect in their hands. Given his remarkable performance and potential, the team has the opportunity to accelerate his development. It wouldn't come as a surprise if they decide to move him up to Double-A and potentially include him on the 40-man roster in the near future.
Blalock's impressive repertoire and promising performance make him a potential game changer for the Brewers' prospect pipeline. With careful consideration of his Rule 5 eligibility and his ability to fast-track to the big leagues, Blalock's journey promises excitement and impact for the Brewers' future.