UPDATED: 2013 MLB Draft Profile: Pat Blair, SS, Wake Forest

The 24th-round pick of the Houston Astros in 2012, Pat Blair has spent his senior year much the way he spent the two before: Getting on base and playing solid defense.

Summary

Pat Blair isn't a name you hear a lot when it comes to the draft. Standing a generous 5'10", 180 lbs., the senior shortstop out of Wake Forest - nephew of former Rangers farmhand Martin Blair - is hitting just .277 to this point in his senior season. Certainly, he's got some intriguing numbers, like his 17 steals in 19 attempts. He's got a solid glove, a plus arm, and good instincts at shortstop, though he's not likely to ever become a Gold Glove candidate, even if he does stick at the position.

So why did the Houston Astros spend their 24th-round pick in 2012 on him? Because Pat Blair has an elite tool.

If you look through the NCAA Division I leader boards, you'll see Blair's name right where it always seems to be: He is currently ranked number three in the nation in walks and walks per game. And it's not a fluke - this is his third straight season in the top 30 in those two categories.

He's no slouch with the bat, either, mind you. For his career at Wake Forest, he has a .275/.400/.403 slash line. When adjusted for park and schedule, College Splits lists his 2013 line as .315/.503/.423, with a .432 wOBA. Not bad for a middle infielder.

But what Pat Blair does better than almost anyone else in the country is draw walks. Unlike Kris Bryant, who has drawn one more walk than Blair this season, no one's pitching around Blair. He's earning every one of his walks.

Update: Sure enough, Blair finished the season 3rd in walks, with 57 of them over 55 games. He finished second in walks-per-game; just 0.03/game behind Kris Bryant. Unlike Bryant, his weren't propped up by intentional walks. His overall numbers increased, also. He finished the season .283/.459/.424 (.293/.473/.440 adjusted for park & schedule).

MLB Floor

Blair's walk tool is great, but as tools go, it's not the most useful one that a player can have. Blair could end up as a utility infielder - I think of him as sort of a Robert Andino type: Someone who can play a few different positions, draw a couple walks, and play reasonable defense. This isn't a bad thing. These are the types of guys, like Ronny Cedeno, who can hang around a long time despite never being household names.

MLB Ceiling

The guy I keep coming back to is Cliff Pennington. Cliff Pennington is never going to be a superstar, but he plays a good middle infield, draws walks, and hits just enough to keep finding work as a major league starting shortstop. He's also about Blair's size, but that's neither here nor there.

Projected Draft Round

Houston drafted Blair in the 24th round in 2012, and he should go a little higher this year after finishing his third straight season in the top 30 in walks - and probably in the top five. He's someone who could likely be taken somewhere between the 10th and 15th rounds.

Update: 10-15 is still probably pretty accurate for Blair, although he may end up in the first half of that, rather than the last half. For a team chasing an "easy sign senior," he could be at the top of the list for having a clearly-demonstrated, repeatable, elite skill. He has a well-established floor, which a lot of seniors lack.

Will He Sign?

In this interview, Blair talks about his decision to return to Wake Forest: The money wasn't right, and he didn't want to give up his senior year. Going in a higher round will increase the money, and there's no other draw for him that in any way parallels his senior year at Wake Forest. There's no reason to think that he wouldn't consent to be re-drafted, or that he wouldn't sign with Houston if he was.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join The Crawfish Boxes

You must be a member of The Crawfish Boxes to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Crawfish Boxes. You should read them.

Join The Crawfish Boxes

You must be a member of The Crawfish Boxes to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Crawfish Boxes. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker