34-Year-Old First Baseman – Free Agent
2014 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Hank Blalock in 2014. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Hank Blalock Contract Information:
Agreed to a minor league deal with Tampa Bay for $925,000 plus $400,000 in incentives in March of 2010.
The Rays have released Blalock, according to Major League Baseball's Official Transactions Page.
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Hank Blalock: MLB Games Played By Position
Hank Blalock Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Hank Blalock: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Hank Blalock.
Blalock struggled as the season wore on, posting a putrid .201/.237/.348 line in 204 at-bats following the All-Star break. He lost playing time to Julio Borbon as his slump worsened, and his time in Arlington has ended after Texas declined to offer him arbitration. There's still some talent buried here (12 homers in his first 40 games in 2009, and three months of .847-plus OPS ), but it's pretty much feast or famine at the plate (26:108 BB:K in 462 at-bats). He could emerge as a decent DH option against right-handed pitching, but the promise he showed early in his career is a distant memory. He'll only be eligible at first base in most league formats (one game at third base in 2009), further eroding his value.
Injuries once again side-tracked Blalock, who was limited to just 65 games in 2008. Texas picked up the option on his contract for 2009, and his numbers the past two years when healthy (466 at-bats, .290, 35 doubles, 22 homers) show there's still some life in his bat. He'll qualify at both first and third base in most league formats for 2009, though he could be restricted to DH-only if he's unable to regain some of his arm strength that's been left on the operating table the past two years.
A shoulder injury sidelined Blalock for nearly four months, so his interrupted season (.293/.358/.543 in 208 at-bats) is too small of a sample to see if the improvement is for real. His numbers after his return (.313/.405/.656 in 64 at-bats) should lay to rest any doubts about his health for the 2008 season, and there's just enough good things under the covers (.298/.370/.426 against lefties, .265/.321/.469 on the road) that give one hope that Blalock can resurrect his career and be a valued bat given his home park.
And you thought 2005 stunk? Blalock sunk to a career-low .726 OPS and .401 SLG, including a terrible .253/.311/.384 line away from Ameriquest Field. He once again faded (.635 OPS post-All-Star break with just four home runs) down the stretch. New manager Ron Washington has stated that getting Blalock back on track will be his responsbility in March, and there's some small glimmer of hope that getting out from under Buck Showalter will help Blalock. Washington's arrival will squash trade rumors that likely would have persisted this winter, assuming Texas would have been willing to eat the contract. Blalock's 2007 will define his career.
Blalock took a major step back in 2005, winning the AL Christian Guzman Achievement Award given annually to the player responsible for making the most outs in the league. He gave back 200 points of OPS against lefties from 2004, but only slugged .464 against righties so it wasn't his only problem. His road numbers (.231/.276/.335) were terrible, and his second-half fade (.236/.283/.375, 9 HR, 35 RBI) was worse than 2004's horrid second half (.240/.338/.406, 9 HR, 42 RBI). He takes a big hit in value if he's dealt away from Texas, which was nearly the case in late November. It's too early to write him off as an Eric Hinske, but Blalock needs a big rebound season.
There was some considerable growth evident in Blalock's second season, during which he boosted his walk rate substantially and hung in there against lefties (.780 OPS in 2004 vs. a .540 mark in 2003). There were growing pains as well, since he was second in the league in strikeouts and hit a measly .239 on the road. His second half stats (.240, 9 HR) are also troubling, but it's nothing to be overly concerned about. He's on the Eric Chavez career path, and there are worse places to be.
It was a year late, but Blalock emerged as predicted before his rookie season. He posted a whopping 1.014 OPS at home, but slumped badly in September. His numbers suffered after the All-Star break, as he began to get more exposure to left-handed starters, but it's hard to find fault with a 22-year old posting a .872 OPS. He'll need to learn to hang in there against lefties, but there's no reason to expect a step back in 2004.
Proof that even baseball's best hitting prospect can struggle upon his first introduction to the big leagues. Texas demoted him in May after Blalock gave the team no choice but to make him the starter at third to begin the season. Upon his demotion, he tore the cover off the ball at Triple-A before an elbow injury sidetracked him. Customary solid eye at the plate waned a bit at Triple-A, though he returned in September and drew eight walks in 47 at-bats for Texas. Blalock just turned 22 years old, so there's little reason to panic. There's been increased talk of him moving to second base this spring with the continued emergence of Mark Teixeira.