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Joe Blanton
Name: Joseph Matthew Blanton
Born: Dec 11, 1980 in Nashville, TN
High School: Franklin-Simpson HS, Franklin, Ky.
Ht.: 6'3" / Wt.: 225 lbs
Bats: R / Throws: R
Drafted in the 1st round (24th overall) by the Oakland Athletics in 2002 (signed for $1,400,000)
Blanton bounced in and out of the first round all spring as his performance went up and down. Considered a marginal first-round pick at the start of the year, his stock surged when he went head-to-head with Ball State's Bryan Bullington in March and outpitched him. He struck out 16 that day with a fastball that touched 95 mph. Blanton wasn't as sharp over his next several starts, appearing to be consumed by all the attention, and interest fell off. Then he pitched well again in a couple of late-season starts and seemed to solidify his position as a late first-rounder. In his final start against Florida, Blanton shut out the hard-hitting Gators for eight innings--then gave up five runs in the ninth and lost. His 5-6, 4.53 record is indicative of his inconsistent effort. Most impressive, he struck out 120 in 91 innings. Big and strong with solid mechanics, Blanton has a good curve and slider in addition to his fastball, which normally is 92-93 mph. When he's at his best, the command on his fastball is precise. His changeup continues to develop.
Career Statistics
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