- Full name Chadd E. Blasko
- Born 03/09/1981 in South Bend, IN
- Profile Ht.: 6'6" / Wt.: 215 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Purdue
Drafted in the 1st round (36th overall) by the Chicago Cubs in 2002 (signed for $1,050,000).
View Draft ReportExpectations have always been high for the 6-foot-6, 205-pound Blasko. His fastball has been clocked as high as 95 mph, and he regularly pitches at 89-93. Scouts don't believe his arm action allows much room for improvement on his below-average breaking ball, and getting removed from a late start with a stiff arm didn't help this Scott Boras client's stock. He shows a feel for changing speeds and using both sides of the plate. His mechanics have been inconsistent, which some scouts feel will lead him to the bullpen down the road.
Organization Prospect Rankings
The Cubs had high hopes for the three pitchers they took in 2002's supplemental first round (Blasko, Matt Clanton and Luke Hagerty), but injuries have struck them all. Blasko's rapid emergence was one of the system's most pleasant developments in 2003. His torn labrum was one of its most bitter disappointments last season. He led the Florida State League in ERA during his first full year and seemed poised to push for a big league spot in 2005, but after shoulder surgery he won't be ready for the start of the season. Before he got hurt, Blasko had a lot to offer. He's 6-foot-7 and has a deceptive delivery, which made his low- to mid-90s fastball that much tougher to hit. He used a big curveball as his second pitch and also employed a changeup and slider. Chicago will handle Blasko carefully this year and won't get a true indication as to whether he can regain his stuff until 2006.
One of three college pitchers taken by the Cubs in 2002's supplemental first round, Blasko broke out in his 2003 pro debut while Luke Hagerty and Matt Clanton were hurt. Many scouts had projected him as a reliever because of his long arm action, but Blasko was unhittable as a starter. He needed just two outings before earning a promotion to high Class A, where he led the Florida State League in ERA. The Cubs drafted Blasko for his size and his fastball. He throws in the low to mid-90s and commands his fastball with precision. The key for him in 2003 was coming up with a consistent breaking ball, a big curveball that looks like a hanger before suddenly dropping through the strike zone. While Blasko also improved his changeup and slider, those pitches still need further refinement. He may not have a picture-perfect delivery, but it's deceptive and he throws strikes, so the Cubs aren't going to touch it. Blasko will head to Double-A, and he and Brownlie could compete for a big league rotation spot in 2005.
After two so-so years at Purdue, Blasko pitched himself into 2002's supplemental first round with a strong summer in the Cape Cod and a solid junior season. Like many Scott Boras clients, Blasko held out for all of his first pro summer. After signing for $1.05 million, he reported to instructional league. The Cubs didn't get much of a look at him because he was hit in the foot by a line drive while shagging balls in the outfield in his first week. Blasko's main weapon is a 90-96 mph fastball. Still projectable at 6-foot-6 and 205 pounds, he could dial his fastball up a couple of more notches as he gets stronger. He'll need to flesh out the rest of his repertoire. Blasko supplements his heat with a splitter, slider, curveball and changeup. He has a long arm action that worried some scouts, but it hasn't hampered his command and Chicago has no immediate plans to change him. He'll compete for a spot in the low Class A rotation during spring training.
Minor League Top Prospects
Blasko made his pro debut this year after signing late as a 2002 supplemental first-round pick. He needed just two low Class A Midwest League starts before jumping to the FSL, where he led the circuit in ERA and ranked third in strikeouts. Several scouts originally projected Blasko as a reliever because he has a long arm action and his secondary pitches paled in comparison to his low- to mid-90s fastball. He now has the chance to be a mid-rotation starter after improving his slider, curveball and changeup. He has a classic pitcher's frame at 6-foot-6 and 210 pounds, and showed no signs of fatigue in his first pro season. "His slider is really getting there," Kranitz said. "All you know is it disappeared and you're not sure what it was. All you know is it was a good pitch."
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Control in the Chicago Cubs in 2004