One of the best pitched games this season came from a prospect of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Aaron Blair of the Class A South Bend Silver Hawks of the Midwest League allowed one hit over seven innings while striking out 12 and walking three. His team lost 2-0 in 12 innings but it was Blair’s performance that makes some wonder when he will be moved up to the next level.
The 22-year old right-hander was taken in the first round of the 2013 Supplemental Draft by the D’backs. He split last year between Hillsboro of the Northwest League and South Bend. Blair is ranked as the #3 prospect in the organization behind only Archie Bradley and teammate Braden Shipley. He has had five starts so far in 2014 and has a record of 1-1 with a 2.56 ERA. In 31 2/3 innings pitched, the 6-foot-5, 230 pound Las Vegas native has surrendered only 17 hits and 10 walks while striking out 43. According to mlb.com, he throws his fastball in the low 90’s with his changeup as his best offspeed pitch. A curveball gives him a third quality pitch. Scouts rate him as a durable, middle-of-the rotation type of guy.
Blair’s expected arrival to Arizona is in 2016. He, Shipley and Bradley should give the D’backs a formidable trio in the future. It’s too bad they can’t help in the present.