24-Year-Old Pitcher – Texas Rangers
2017 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
Blackburn's 2016 season was a step in the wrong direction. He failed to build off a strong 2015 campaign and regressed below his career marks in ERA (4.36), walks (2.3 BB/9) and strikeouts (6.7 K/9). ...
Blackburn was optioned back to Triple-A Round Rock following Wednesday's game against the Mariners, Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
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Texas Rangers Roster
MajorsAlberto, Hanser (3B)
AAAAlvarez, R.J. (P)
A+Beras, Jairo (P)
AAlexy, A.J. (P)
RookieAparicio, Miguel (OF)
Clayton Blackburn: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
The big righty continues to put up solid minor-league numbers, posting a 3.29 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP in 93 innings in his first taste of Double-A. His 85:20 K:BB ratio says a lot about his profile. He lacks the high-end stuff to miss bats in the big leagues, and he will have to survive off command/control and pitchability, but there is a chance he could make it as a No. 4 or No. 5 starter. Blackburn has a very slow, effortless delivery, pounding the zone with well-located pitches. But since his fastball is in the 88-92-mph range, he needs to be pinpoint with his location and use effective sequencing to survive against big-league hitters. The lack of depth in the Giantsí big-league rotation makes Blackburn someone to watch in 2015, but at best he will be a back-end innings eater, with little upside for big strikeout totals.
The move from Low-A Augusta to High-A San Jose proved to be no challenge for Blackburn in 2013, as he maintained his excellent strikeout totals (9.3 K/9), while keeping his walks in check (2.4 BB/9). The big-framed righty (6-4, 225) showcases a sinking mid-90s fastball, as well as an above-average curveball and a solid changeup. He should start the season with Double-A Richmond, but there is a good chance he could be fast-tracked to Triple-A Fresno midseason, if he continues his dominance on the mound.
Blackburn was a 16th-round pick by the Giants in the 2011 draft, and put together a breakout year in his first full professional season with a 2.54 ERA (1.91 FIP) in 131.1 innings. He has shown spectacular control with a walk rate of 1.2 BB/9, and dominated hitters in Low-A with a strikeout rate of 9.8 K/9. Blackburn features a low-90s fastball that can top out at 95 mph, an above-average curveball and strong changeup, and should start 2013 in High-A. The right-hander has the ceiling of a strong No. 3 starter, but will not have an impact on the major league level until late 2014 at the earliest.