Jabari Blash

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Jabari Jerrell Blash

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Biographical Information[edit]

Outfielder Jabari Blash, a big man with potential as a power hitter, grew up on St. Thomas. Like many young Virgin Islanders, he then went to college on the mainland. He attended Alcorn State University for a year but was not eligible for the baseball team because of transcript issues.

Blash was a "draft and follow" player who was selected three times before he finally turned pro. First, the Chicago White Sox picked him in the 29th round in 2007 out of high school, one pick before Collin Cowgill. Two years later, the Texas Rangers selected him in the 9th round of the 2009 amateur draft out of junior college, one pick ahead of Preston Guilmet. Finally, the Seattle Mariners selected him in the 8th round in 2010, one selection ahead of Pat Leyland. The scout was Mike Tosar.

In 2010, Blash posted a .266-5-20 basic batting line and an OPS of .839 (.362 OBP, .477 SLG) in 32 games for the Pulaski Mariners in rookie ball. One drawback was 44 strikeouts in 109 at-bats, not helped by his large strike zone. He started with Clinton in the Midwest League in 2011, was demoted after a slow start, but then connected for 11 homers with 43 RBI in 57 games for the Everett AquaSox in the short-season Class A Northwest League. He batted .292/.393/.574 and also stole 10 bases in 13 tries for the AquaSox. He was named Everett's MVP and was among the NWL leaders in slugging (1st, 62 points ahead of runner-up Paul Hoilman), home runs (tied for 3rd with Justin Hilt behind Hoilman and Stephen McQuail), doubles (tied for 7th at 16), RBI (tied for 6th with Brett Krill), OBP (3rd) and OPS (1st by 71 points over Hoilman). Baseball America rated him as the #11 prospect in the circuit, between Reggie Golden and Ben Wells. He joined Krill and Jesus Galindo on the NWL All-Star outfield.

Blash was back with Clinton in 2012. He has continued to show power, but his batting average is in the low .200s as of mid-June; he was hitting .214/.343/.408 with 9 home runs and 37 walks after 58 games.

In the 2015 Rule V Draft on December 10, 2015, Blash was picked from the Mariners by the Oakland Athletics, then immediately flipped to the San Diego Padres as the player to be named later in the December 2nd trade that had brought 1B Yonder Alonso and P Marc Rzepczynski to Oakland in return for Drew Pomeranz and Jose Torres. On March 27th, he hit the first of five Padres homers, off Brady Rodgers in an eight-run 1st inning, as they destroyed the Houston Astros, 21-6, in the second of two exhibition games played at Estadio Fray Nano in Mexico City.

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