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2/24/1982 (35 y, 1 m, 1 d)
2001 June Amateur Draft - Round: 29, Pick: 1, Overall: 857, Team: Minnesota Twins
Add New Contract
Blackburn has decided to retire, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. (7/19/2014)
Minnesota Twins Rotation: Depth Chart Discussions
Brett Talley (RotoGraphs)
Pitcher's Luck: Part Time Starters
Jeff Zimmerman (RotoGraphs)
FanGraphs Power Rankings - 10/3/11
Paul Swydan (FanGraphs)
Nick Blackburn and Jon Jay: Waiver Wire
Erik Hahmann (RotoGraphs)
The Twins Pitching Woes
Chris Cwik (FanGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
Blackburn’s 2009 was a near repeat of his 2008 season: 11 wins, an ERA of 4.03 versus 4.05 in 2008, 98 strikeouts versus 96 and a WHIP of 1.37 versus 1.36. He got there both years as an extreme pitch-to-contact pitcher. Blackburn has amazing control (career 1.8 BB/9), is average at getting GBs (career 45%), and is one of the worst in the league at getting strikeouts (4.43 K/9). The lack of strikeouts should not be a surprise as he had the league’s second highest contact rate (87.9%) in 2009, meaning batters very rarely miss when they swing at his pitches.
The Year Ahead:
Heading into his age-28 season, Blackburn has established his skill set and talent level, and there is little reason to expect a breakout. By virtue of his great command he will post an okay ERA (mid-to-low 4s) and WHIP (mid-to-high 1.30s) while winning some games as a starter on an okay Twins team. His strikeout rate has been very low throughout his career (including the minors) so he will definitely hurt your team in the strikeout category. On a team with lots of strikeout starters, he could provide some average ERA and WHIP innings, but beyond that he has little value. He should either be undrafted or taken in the later rounds in deeper drafts. (Dave Allen)
If it wasn't for the results of two months in 2010, Blackburn would have looked like he did the first two years of his career when he was 11-11 in each season with almost 100 strikeouts. Here is how his 2010 season broke down: April/May: 6-1 4.28 ERA, June/Jul: 1-6 10.05 ERA, Aug/Oct: 4-5 3.16 ERA. The main problem he faced in 2010 is his K/9 rate dropping by 0.5 and his BB/9 increasing by 0.5 from 2009 to 2010. He seemed to right the ship in the last few months after spending about a month in Triple-A. Even if Blackburn is able to put up numbers similar to 2009 in 2011, he really has little value expect in possibly AL-only and deep-mixed leagues. He rarely strikes anyone out and his main value will be from the wins he gets. (Jeff Zimmerman)
The Quick Opinion:
Besides accumulating a some wins, Blackburn's fantasy value is fairly low.
We've known all along that Nick Blackburn can't strike anyone out. His 4.61 strikeouts per nine last year was a career high! But in 2008 and 2009, Blackburn kept his walk rate under two per nine, enjoyed neutral luck on balls in play, and put up an ERA that was close enough to four that he probably was rostered in some fantasy leagues. In 2010, despite improving his ground-ball rate, he suffered some bad luck on home runs (13.4% home runs per fly ball) and put up a terrible ERA (5.42) that turned his managers (fantasy and real) against thim. Last season, the bad luck on home runs continued, and despite the ground-ball rate staying above 50%, his control worsened for the second straight season and the 4.42 ERA was unsightly. An average HR/FB rate might bring that ERA closer to four again, but without the strikeouts, and with the average control, Blackburn is not a good fantasy starter. (Eno Sarris)
The Quick Opinion:
He won't give you strikeouts, and it looks like the real Blackburn only has slightly above average control at best. If the new ground-ball rate holds another year, and the home run luck improves, he might be an average real-life pitcher -- without much fantasy value.
The wheels came completely off for Nick Blackburn in 2012, as he and Jonathan Sanchez battled valiantly for the title of worst starter in the junior circuit. And yet somehow Blackburn was permitted to make 19 starts with an ERA just a few runs shy of 8.00. It was truly an indictment on the Twins starting staff this season, which saw names like Samuel Deduno, P.J. Walters, and Esmerling Vasquez come through the door in an attempt to stop the bleeding. Blackburn was outrighted off the 40-man roster, which to many was unthinkable given the Twins still owe him $5.5 million in 2013, but it's indicative of where the organization stands on Blackburn. His largest crimes include a 2.1 HR/9, .340/.374/.584 triple-slash allowed (.439 LHH wOBA, .379 RHH), and meager 9.2% K rate. Blackburn might not even make the Twins in 2013; don't even think about him on your fantasy team. (Brandon Warne)
The Quick Opinion:
Nick Blackburn is not even on the Twins 40-man roster. And they need starting pitching!
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Updated: Saturday, March 25, 2017 3:38 AM ET
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