Get to Know Giants’ Prospect Ty Blach


Over the years, Creighton University has produced some solid major league talent. Notable alumni include current Philadelphia Phillies’ power hitter Darin Ruf, former journeyman catcher Scott Servais, and former relief pitcher Dennis Rasmussen. The most famous Bluejay in Major League history is Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson, the owner of 251 career wins and a 2.91 career ERA. The San Francisco Giants hope they have the next great Creighton alum in the organization.

The Giants drafted Ty Blach in the fifth round of the 2012 amateur draft following his junior season at Creighton. The left-hander signed almost immediately, but would not pitch professionally that year. During the 2012 college season, Blach made 21 starts, the most among all NCAA Division-I pitchers. The Giants felt it wise to give Blach the rest of the season to recover, not wanting to wear out the 22 year-old’s arm.

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2013 was the beginning of Blach’s professional journey. He was placed with the Advanced-A San Jose Giants, which is a high starting point for a young man with no pro experience. Blach was more than up to the task, however, as he led the California League with a .750 winning percentage, 2.90 ERA, and 1.2 walks per nine innings. He was named to the California League All-Star team, and won the League’s Pitcher of the Year Award. Overall, he went 12-4 in his 22 games, with a 1.090 WHIP, plus 117 strikeouts and just 18 walks in 130.1 innings.

Blach would pitch in relief in the 2013 California-Carolina League’s All-Star Game. He entered in the second inning, and would allow a home run to the first batter he faced, Chicago White Sox farmhand Jeremy Farrell. He would settle down, as he retired the next three batters in order, including a strikeout. One of those three batters was Rougned Odor, one of the Texas Rangers’ top prospects. In all, he threw 12 pitches, 10 for strikes.

Blach’s outstanding 2013 earned him more accolades, as he was named the Giants’ sixth-best prospect by, and eighth-best by Baseball America.

The next season saw Blach move up to the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels, where he would continue his dominance. Despite an 8-8 record, he posted a 3.13 ERA and 1.284 WHIP, with 91 strikeouts and 31 walks in 141 innings. While his walk-rate more than doubled, as it shot up to 2.5 BB/9, he still posted a phenomenal total.

The young southpaw is known to attack hitters and pound the strike zone. He doesn’t waste pitches trying to strike guys, as he is a pitch-to-contact type, much like future teammate Tim Hudson. He also doesn’t hurt himself, as he is able to keep his walk-rate way down. He has a great presence on the mound, as he never gets rattled, and always seems to be in control. Those same qualities are what set Madison Bumgarner apart from his peers.

Feb 23, 2014; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Ty Blach (65) poses for a photo during photo day at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Blach features four pitches, and all of them are plus offerings. He throws two types of fastball: a four-seamer that hums around 92 to 94, and a two-seamer with great sink. The sinking fastball is an excellent groundball pitch that can induce a number of double plays. His best secondary pitch is a changeup with good deception and arm-side fade. The slider is his fourth pitch, and while it is his weakest, it is still a quality offering.

Mechanically, Blach is extremely sound. His motion is very simple and compact, with as few moving parts as humanly possible. He works very fast and is back on the mound ready to pitch as soon as he gets the ball back. Rhythm is a great asset, as he almost always controls the tempo. He also very rarely leaves pitches up in the zone.

Blach doesn’t have the overall stuff to be an ace, and he will probably never start an Opening Day. However, he seems to have the makeup of a very solid addition to the interior of a rotation. He can eat innings, and will give his team a legitimate chance to win every fifth day.

Triple-A Sacramento seems to be Blach’s most likely starting point for 2015. On the other hand, if the Giants can’t add another starter, like James Shields, during the offseason, and Blach impresses in Spring Training, he might get the call to be a major league starter to begin 2015.

Either way, Blach is on the fast track to be a big leaguer, and will probably make his debut in 2015 at some point. The former Bluejay should be flying to San Francisco very soon.