Seth A. Blair
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 190 lb.
- School Arizona State University
- High School Rock Falls High School
Seth Blair was a supplemental first-round draft pick in the 2010 amateur draft, with the 46th overall pick.
Blair played for the USA in the 2005 World Youth Championship. He was 34-8 with 8 saves in high school, hitting .432 with 97 steals as well. He captained both the baseball and basketball teams as a senior. The Oakland Athletics took him in the 47th round of the 2007 amateur draft.
As a freshman at Arizona State University, Blair was 4-2 with a save and a 6.96 ERA for ASU. He had an excellent summer, going 4-1 with a 1.55 ERA for the Cotuit Kettleers of the prestigious Cape Cod League, finishing third in the circuit in ERA. As a sophomore, Blair improved to 7-2, 3.39 with a save. He made honorable mention All-Pacific-10 Conference. He started 2010 12-0 with a 3.06 ERA, winning Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year honors. The St. Louis Cardinals took him 46th in the 2010 amateur draft; he was their second pick after Zack Cox. The choice was compensation for the loss of Mark DeRosa. He pitched in the minor leagues from 2011 to 2014, peaking with 6 games in AAA that final season. However, he was generally a disappointment, as his career was ERA was 5.34 in 84 games. In his first season, he was suspended from the playoffs for violating team rules, a sign that his attitude was not all it should have been. He reported to spring training with a sore shoulder in 2015 and was released a few weeks later, while rehabbing.
He was then out of baseball for four years before beginning a comeback in 2019. He had pitched in semi-pro leagues in between, where he finally understood what it meant to put everything on the line on the mound. He pitched that season with the Lake Elsinore Storm of the California League and went 2-3, 4.11 in 17 games. He was then forced into inactivity again by the COVID-19 pandemic that shut down the minor leagues in 2020; many teams also decided to get rid of some marginal minor leaguers at that point, and Blair got the cut. But somehow, now 32, he managed to resurface, this time with the Boston Red Sox, after using the forced time off to teach himself to throw sidearm. He had set up a training mound in his backyard in Scottsdale, AZ, and soon a number of idle professional players, among them Danny Hultzen, another former first-rounder, were using the facility, and also giving him tips along the way, leading to the opportunity with the Red Sox. He had a pretty good season between the Portland Sea Dogs of Double-A Northeast and the Worcester Red Sox of Triple-A East, going a combined 3-2, 3.10 in 32 games, also picking up 2 saves and striking out 51 batters in 40 2/3 innings.
His solid 2021 season resulted in an invitation for Seth to attend spring training with the Tampa Bay Rays, always ready to give players with an unusual career path a look, in 2022. While he was sent down to the minors, he had impressed enough for a major league call-up later in the season to be a distinct possibility - finally.
- Adam Berry: "12 years later, this 1st-rounder could finally reach Majors", mlb.com, March 29, 2022.