WATCH: The Curious Case of Jabari Blash

Padres prospect offers tremendous potential, but at a price

Before the 2016 Cactus League season started Jabari Blash had never gotten more than nine at-bats in a Big League Spring Training. So when the Padres took him in the Rule V Draft they knew they were taking on a developmental project.

Granted, this project hit 32 home runs across Double-A and Triple-A in the Mariners system last year, so if he develops he could be a steal. On Sunday Blash hit his 4th home run of the season in the Padres’ 21-6 thrashing of the Astros in Mexico City. Well, it was less of a home run and more of a missile shot.

The ball cleared the fence and all the bleachers in left-center field at Fray Nano Stadium. It’s the kind of jaw-dropping blast that makes you fall in love with the power potential of the 6-foot-5-inch, 235-pound man who is built like, in the words of Padres manager Andy Green, “A Greek God.”


Blash had a pair of hits in four at-bats against the Astros, driving in four runs and scoring twice. But the most important number in the box score was zero and it came in the strikeouts column.

The issue with Blash, and the main reason the 26-year-old hasn’t gotten his first MLB call-up, is his scary punch out rate. In his minor league career Blash has whiffed in 27 percent of his plate appearances. In his first full MLB training camp that number has gone up.

Blash has struck out in 38 percent of his plate appearances during Cactus League play. But, he’s also played better defense than most expected and … oh, that power.

The Padres will have to keep Blash on the team for the entirety of the 2016 season if they give him a spot on the Opening Day roster. It’s not often that a 26-year-old is still considered a “prospect” but for the Friars, a team in dire need of a home run threat, this gamble might be worth taking.

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