Cove Chatter Top 2016 Prospects: #18

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San Francisco Giants Top 2016 Prospects

#18: Ty Blach, LHP, Age 25: Blach was top 10 in my 2014 and 2015 winter rankings, and I still think quite highly of him. The difference this year is that we’re starting to get a better idea of what his MLB career could look like, and the Giants had a plethora of high ceiling arms blossom in 2015 (Chase Johnson, Jordan Johnson, Sam Coonrod). Blach may not possess the eye-popping fastball of others in the system, but he’s certainly got some positive things going for himself too. Southpaws with command can be quite valuable, and Ty has shown tremendous control throughout his professional career. He’s got a 4-pitch arsenal that he mixes quite well, and his changeup may be one of the best in the system.

The first thing people generally notice about Blach’s minor league numbers are his K-rates, which have dipped as he’s moved up the system. He was also very hittable for Sacramento last year, allowing 189 hits in 165.1 IP. However, the thing that really strikes me about Ty is his ability to log innings. He made 27 starts in AAA, and in 9 of his 11 least successful outings (game score 43 or less), he was still able to finish 5, 6, and sometimes even 7 innings of work. Actually, he only made 2 starts that were shorter than 5 IP all season. The Giants have shown they value that kind of durability in a pitcher. Heck, look at Barry Zito for crying out loud.

Blach also had his share of dominant games for the Rivercats in 2015, a 3-hit shutout (game score 85) best among them. I was in attendance for his start on May 3, when he allowed 3 hits and 1 run over 6 IP against El Paso. He only struck out 4 that afternoon, but he appeared in complete control for nearly the entirety of his outing. He likely won’t ever be a high strikeout arm. It’s just not his profile, and it never has been. Personally, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal for him. In fact, with the lack of openings in the Giants MLB rotation going forward, I could see Blach eventually finding his home in the bullpen, where his fastball may play just up a tad (91-93?), and his changeup could help give him an out pitch against righties. I’m not sure they make that move in 2016, but you just never know what kind of need will arise during the season.


6 thoughts on “Cove Chatter Top 2016 Prospects: #18”

  1. Blach-Had a tough year,in a tough environment to pitch.Maybe the second time around,will be a little better.The one thing that kept Zito effective til the end,was his plus CB.Blach is going to need good control of his secondary pitches if he wants to be successful in the big leagues.

    Peace Kyle

  2. you’ve got a little gap between Blach and Stratton in your rankings. In trade which player would be more sought after? If you needed a spot start, right now, which player would you give the ball to?

    I think the answers are Stratton with a bit more trade value, but give Blach the ball right now.

    1. That’s a good call Footy. Looking back at Stratton’s AAA numbers, I forgot how many games he was able to finish 7 and 8 innings. He really was pretty decent there. I guess I ranked him a little more on previous scouting reports, and I’d had Blach top 10 last season. I The draft pedigree probably gives Stratton the nod, but I like Blach better… most likely because he’s a lefty. I don’t have a huge argument aside from that. f I had to do it over, I’d probably put them a little closer together.

  3. I like Blach too, but #18 seems too high for him. His K/9 is getting down in the Rueter range when he was old and headed out of the game. And remember, hittability is related to his inability to get strikes.

    But he’s only 24 YO and did OK given his lack of K’s and relative youth, so there is still time for him to improve and reach the majors, using Heston as an example of what he might do eventually, in terms of advancement.

    1. Looking at his MLEs, as calculated by Baseball Forecaster, he’s definitely MLB material, and maybe you called it, he might be better off as a reliever, able to crank it up a little.

      2014: 3.56 ERA, 4.8 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, 2.0 K/BB
      2015: 4.72 ERA, 4.2 K/9, 1.7 BB/9, 2.5 K/BB

      That’s solid stats for a journeyman reliever, but with a boost relieving, plus usage as a Loogy, could make him valuable in the majors.

      So I’m OK with him 18 now, that seems fair. He was better than I thought he was the past two seasons.

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