True to form, the Angels use their round 3/4 picks on toolsy and young projects up the middle. Werner Blakely Jr is a boom-or-bust kid from Michigan, that Baseball America describes as “a prototypical high-risk, high-reward prospect with plenty of athleticism and tools, but a rawness to his game that raises some concerns”.
First baseball All-American from Detroit:
Werner Blakely Jr. is the first baseball All-American from the city of Detroit. Ever.— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) November 9, 2019
He met Derek Jeter this summer, and has a goal to be better than the Hall of Famer. pic.twitter.com/EMJBNAVFaO
As with the Angels’ previous selection David Calabrese, who was rated as a first-round talent at #19 on Keith Law’s Big Board, Law was also impressed with Blakely:
89. Werner Blakely, SS, Detroit Edison Public School Academy, Age: 18
Blakely, an Auburn commit, is a very strong defender at shortstop with a projectable, loose body, showing very quick hands at the plate but limited experience facing good pitching and questions about the long-term hit tool. He’s a solid projection high school pick given the high probability he stays at shortstop and the potential for him to get stronger in a few years.
While MLB Pipeline and Baseball America were less bullish, BA also says: “Teams are excited about his potential and the power he could pack on to his athletic frame, but he’ll need plenty of at-bats to refine his offensive game. Blakely is a good runner who glides around the field and could turn into a dangerous basestealing threat.“
At this point in the draft, past the top 100 picks, there’s not much in the way of over/under slot deliberation (especially in this strange five-round experience), as the slot values are down to $500k, and teams are going with kids they’ve scouted for awhile, and many selections are outside the top ranked lists. Blakely Jr is clearly a kid with a projectable body whose makeup that Angels like, and a developmental project in the mold of younger players like Kyren Paris they’ve selected in prior drafts.
Prospect Live affords us a deeper cut:
WERNER BLAKELY, SS, DETROIT EDISON, AUBURN COMMIT
Blakely is the top-ranked player in the Michigan 2020 class. He is, without a doubt, one of the most electric athletes in the entire state of Michigan. A 6.50 60-yard dash runner, the left-handed hitting Blakely is an impressive prospect.
Blakely has great feel for himself at the plate with strong bat-to-ball skills. He swings a quick bat that takes a level path through the zone and consistently makes contact with the baseball from the left-side of the plate. There is clear projection to Blakely’s frame, he’s only 6-foot-3 and 170 pounds, so there’s reason to believe he could add some power as he grows into his build. Defensively, the athleticism and natural defensive actions that Blakely has lock him into shortstop in the long-term. He has an above-average arm and has thrown 90 mph across the infield before. A left-handed hitting, highly athletic prospect with projection and the defensive actions to stick at shortstop, Blakely could easily get scooped up by a professional team.
As destiny would have it, that team would be the Los Angeles Angels.