In his first spring training with the San Diego Padres, outfielder Jabari Blash is already catching the eyes of coaches and teammates alike.
Blash, who stands at 6-foot-5 with a strong build, was acquired by the Padres to complete the Yonder Alonso-Drew Pomeranz trade with the Oakland Athletics.
San Diego hopes Blash, who can play both outfield corner spots, will provide some necessary right-handed power following the departure of Justin Upton in free agency.
If his physique is any indication of things to come, the Padres can expect a lot of long balls over the left-field fence this upcoming season.
While Jabari Blash hit yesterday, Andy Green asked Skip Schumaker "Whaddya got on this bod?" Schumaker: "That’s a Greek god." #eroticspring— Dennis Lin (@sdutdennislin) February 26, 2016
In 2015, Blash hit a combined .271/.370/.576 and 32 home runs for Seattle’s Double-A and Triple-A clubs, but is just hoping to improve in camp and make the big league roster.
"I’m coming in here trying to be a tough out and that’s what it comes down to," Blash said to Padres Social Hour's Mike Janela. "I have a great opportunity in front of me and I think I’m prepared, so to me it’s just coming into camp and being a tough out and helping the guys win."
Manager Andy Green has plenty of good things to say about Blash so far in spring training.
"He showed up here early, and worked his tail off," Green said. "The great thing about him is he’s got an attitude to get better and a hunger to learn. He’s got all the potential in the world. You look what he did in the minor leagues last year with his 32 home runs, a very impressive walk rate. His strikeout rate might be up, but that’s not necessarily any cause for concern. He gets on base and drives guys in. It’s a lot to like."
But like several of his other teammates, Blash will have to earn his roster spot after being selected in the Rule V Draft.
"He’s got to be a part of his roster or we risk losing him," Green said. "We told those four Rule V guys right when we got them, ‘Hey, there’s no scholarship program here; you’re going to have to earn your keep.’ But we do look into what their future value is because it would be unwise to say what they do for us just in 2016. If you get through this year and carry those guys, they add immense value to you going forward. We’re cognizant of that, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to put them on the team if they’re not ready."
For now, Blash is just happy to have the opportunity to be with a club.
"For me it’s been amazing because I’m with a different club now," Blash said. "I think it’s a blessing that I was able to be picked up with the Padres."