Blake Stevens Ochoa
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 200 lb.
Blake Ochoa played as high as AAA.
Ochoa signed with the Florida Marlins in January 2004. He was 8 for 23 for Universidad de Carabobo that summer. In 2005, he played for the GCL Marlins (.278/.376/.409 in 37 G) and Jupiter Hammerheads (0 for 1). He hit only .211/.274/.293 for Jupiter in 2006, splitting the catching job with Chris Hatcher. In 2007, he played for the Greensboro Grasshoppers (.191/.255/.303 in 33 G) and Carolina Mudcats (1 for 5, BB) then was dealt to the Seattle Mariners for Daniel Santin. The rest of the year, he appeared for the Everett AquaSox (11 for 44, 4 BB, 2 2B, 2 HR, his first career grand slam) and the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (9 for 26, 3 2B).
In 2008, Blake batted .251/.335/.366 as a regular at catcher for Wisconsin. That winter, he was 10 for 39 with two doubles, two home runs and two walks for the Bravos de Margarita in his Venezuelan League debut. During '09, he hit .318/.379/.480 in 54 games for the Clinton Lumber Kings and threw out 41% of attempted base-stealers. He was 3 for 7 with a walk and a double that winter for the Bravos.
Ochoa split 2010 between the Lumber Kings (.279/.397/.577, 8 HR in 33 G), High Desert Mavericks (8 for 24, 3 2B, HR, BB) and Tacoma Rainiers (2 for 9, BB). He went 2 for 9 for Margarita in 2010-2011. Out of Organized Baseball, Blake signed with the independent Washington Wild Things and hit a meek .190/.323/.316 in 2011. He moved to Spain's Division de Honor for 2012, hitting .357/.519/.713 with 40 runs, 40 RBI and 10 home runs in 36 games for the Astros Valencia. He was among the league leaders in slugging (3rd), OBP (3rd behind Daniel Martinez and Larry Infante), runs (3rd), RBI (3rd), doubles (11, tied for 6th with Javier José Flores and Kelvin Marianucci), home runs (2nd, 4 behind Infante), total bases (82, 4th, between Richard Montiel and Marianucci) and walks (33, tied for second with Martinez).
Ochoa was on the Spanish national team for the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers. Backing up Adrian Nieto at catcher, he had two at-bats. He ended their 4-2 loss to Israel, pinch-hitting for Jesus Golindano in the bottom of the 9th and grounding out against Josh Zeid to end the game. Against South Africa, he pinch-hit for Rafael Alvarez with two on and none out in the 9th, up 10-3. He cracked a two-run double off Ryan Groves and later scored on a fly from Yunesky Sanchez. In the 2013 World Baseball Classic itself, he struck out in his lone at-bat, backing up Salomón Manríquez and Nieto. In the 2013 Division de Honor, he batted .286/.453/.469, fielding .996 and threw out 51.3% of those who tried to steal. He was 8th in the league in slugging, tied for 4th with 4 homers, 3rd in walks (28) and was the hardest catcher to steal against.
In 2014, he produced at a .378/ clip with an amazing 48 walks in 32 games for Valencia, scoring 36 and driving in 33 while going deep seven times. He fielded .996 though opponents stole better (66.7%). He finished 4th in slugging (between Lesther Galván and Yancarlo Franco, 2nd in OBP (.010 behind Óscar Angulo), tied Sandel Cuevas for 7th in runs, tied Golindano for 7th in RBI, 2nd in home runs (one behind David Paisano), led in passed balls (15) and obviously led in walks (12 ahead of Martinez). Starting for Spain in the 2014 European Championship, he hit .192/.323/.423 and allowed steals in all seven tries; he scored 7 runs in 8 games for the Bronze Medal winners. He homered off Tom Stuifbergen of the champion Dutch national team.
Ochoa slumped to .260/.413/.460 in 2015, played error-free ball and threw out 38.3% of attempted base-stealers. He still was 9th in slugging (between Kreisber Auciello and Golindano), tied Emmanuel Febles for 6th in runs (23), was 3rd in RBI (23, behind Angulo and Martinez), tied Eric Segura for the home run lead (5), tied for 8th in total bases, tied for 3rd in walks and led in error-free chances. In the 2016 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers, he started for Spain, going 2 for 7 with hits off Colombia's Horacio Acosta and France's Keino Perez. In the summer of 2016, he helped power Valencia to their first title, batting .387/.512/.742 with 8 homers, 25 runs, 25 walks and 31 RBI in 28 games, fielding .996 and throwing out 40.9% of attempted base thieves. He was was second in the batting race (.032 behind Franco), led in slugging (.079 ahead of Jesús Ustariz), was second in OBP (.008 behind Ustariz), led in OPS as a result, was 4th in runs, tied for 7th in hits (36), was second in RBI (3 shy of the lead), tied Franco for 6th in doubles (9), led in homers (double the runners-up), was second in total bases (69, 4 behind Franco) and was second in walks (one behind Ustariz).
He also played in the 2016 European Championship, hitting .227/.370/.500 going into the finals with 7 runs in 7 games and playing error-free ball. He homered off Boris Bokaj of the Czech Republic and José Escalona in a big win over Italy. Only Curt Smith had more error-free chances and only Kalian Sams had more homers. Spain played for the title for the first time since 1955; in the Gold Medal Game, he batted 8th in a 3-2 loss to the Dutch national team, going 0 for 4 while throwing out the only player who tried to steal, Chris Garia.
In 2017, he was not nearly as dominant as 2016 but still very good - .338/.540/.650, 34 R, 32 RBI, 38 BB, 7 HR in 27 G. He fielded .996 but only threw out 23.7% of base-runners. He finished 4th in slugging, 2nd in OBP (.001 behind Michel Rodriguez), tied Franco for 4th in runs, was 2nd in RBI (16 behind Rodriguez), 3rd in home runs (after Rodriguez and Jean Acevedo) and led in walks (by 5). He hit .250/.360/.400 in the 2017 Federations Cup.
Ochoa starred in the 2018 Federations Cup; getting to face teams from Croatia, Slovakia and Austria, he batted .600/.680/1.000 with 10 runs and 13 RBI in 5 games in the round-robin. He was 3rd in average, led in slugging (.045 ahead of Cuevas), was 3rd in OBP, tied for 2nd in runs (one behind Febles), tied Febles for 2nd in hits (12), tied for first in homers (2) and led in RBI (2 ahead of Kestas Vilimas). In the finale, he was 0 for 2 with 3 walks and 3 runs in a rout of Sweden's Sölvesborg Firehawks as Valencia won to give Spain a spot in the 2019 CEB Cup. He won tournament MVP honors. That summer in Spain, he hit .372/.525/.761 with 44 runs, 11 homers and 61 RBI in 32 games. He had a 4.32 ERA in four mound appearances and handled 247 chances error-free. No one was close in fielding (Okaury Montero was next, also at 1.000 but in 60 chances). He was 5th in slugging (between Leopoldo Correa and Eric Segura), 10th in OBP, tied Javier Monzón for 5th in runs, led in RBI (six ahead of Montiel), tied for 6th in doubles (11), was third in homers (one behind Edison Valerio and Auciello), 8th in total bases (86), 1st in walks (four ahead of Monzón) and tied for second in putouts (233, 13 behind Segura).
- 2009 Mariners Media Guide
- World Baseball Classic
- Spanish Baseball and Softball Federation
- European Baseball Confederation