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Diamondbacks’ Blaze Alexander Hits His Way Onto Opening Day Roster — College Baseball, MLB Draft, Prospects

Diamondbacks' Blaze Alexander Hits His Way Onto Opening Day Roster — College Baseball, MLB Draft, Prospects

Blaze Alexander entered spring training as a long shot to make the team, but there he was on March 28, starting and batting seventh in the Diamondbacks’ Opening Day lineup.

“He did it,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “He earned it. We didn’t just hand him this opportunity.”

The 24-year-old Alexander steadily climbed through the minor leagues after being drafted in the 11th round out of IMG Academy in 2018. He first eased concerns about his ability to stick at shortstop, then in the past two years went about showing he had a chance to contribute at the plate, as well.

He put it all together during spring training. Not only did he mash—Alexander went 22-for-50 (.400) with four doubles, two triples, two homers and five steals—he also showed he could handle second base and third base in addition to shortstop.

“I think I’ve shown I can play some lockdown defense wherever they’re going to put me and that I can control at-bats and can contribute,” Alexander said. “That I can hit the ball hard, run hard and play the game hard.”

Alexander is known for his tools—he has a huge arm and above-average raw power—but scouts in the past have often seen an unrefined approach. He started to clean that up the past two years, reining in his strikeout rate and increasing his walk rate.

Where Alexander takes this opportunity remains to be seen. He figures to get the bulk of starts at DH against lefthanders with some starts across the infield sprinkled in.

Moreover, top shortstop prospect Jordan Lawlar will miss at least two months with a torn ligament in his right thumb. Now, Alexander will get additional runway to show he too should be seen as a potential everyday player.

“He’s certainly a dynamic player from a raw skills standpoint,” D-backs GM Mike Hazen said. “I thought he had one of the best spring trainings out of anybody we had in camp.

“I think the at-bat quality has been better than it’s been in the past. I think with maturation, you hope to see that.”

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