"I'm trying to get in game shape as much as I can with lifting and running and throwing. I took about a week off once the season ended but now I'm back to doing things I did during the season," he said. "I talked to Ian Kadish and Arik Sikula. I played with them my freshman year and they told me what to expect."
Which, according to Blair, are long bus rides and long days at the ballpark. With so many different publications and mock drafts it is hard to say for certain where the Herd hurler will end up, but he said the highest he has seen his name is at the No. 22 overall pick to the Baltimore Orioles.
Marshall coach Jeff Waggoner said watching Blair develop into a sought-after prospect has been a fun ride. The Herd does not get many, if any, recruits that enter the program at the height of their powers and the development process is something Waggoner and his staff have focused on with success.
"We have to develop them to have a chance," Waggoner said. "The fact that my support staff did a great job of developing that kid over the years makes you feel good."
Marshall has had some notable recent success with former players doing well in professional baseball. Pitcher Dan Strailey worked his way through the Oakland farm system rather fast and has seen time at the major league level. Other players such as Kadish, Sikula, Kevin Shakleford and Mike Mason have been drafted in the late rounds and are on minor league rosters. When Blair is selected he will be the 26th Marshall player to move on the professional baseball and the 16th to be drafted since Waggoner took over the program seven years ago. In the decade prior to his arrival that number was zero.
"It's a credit to those guys that have worked hard in the program," he said. "Out of the 26 guys that went on to play pro ball, only two were drafted out of high school."
The first two rounds of the MLB Draft start at 7 tonight and will be broadcast on MLB Network and streamed lived at MLB.com.
Reach Tom Bragg at tom.br...@wvgazette.com.