BILLINGS — When you look across Major League Baseball, you’ll find very few players with Montana roots.
Brock Blatter may be the next big exception. The 19-year-old was recently drafted by the Chicago Cubs, although he’s postponing his potential big-league debut.
Many kids dream of playing in the big leagues, but few ever get a call quite like the one the Billings Central grad got last month from the Cubbies.
“Once you get to Day 2 and Day 3, it’s quick. It’s on a stream and they just say your name and say the next name. I got the call, said they were going to take me in the 19th round. It was exciting, but I didn’t really know what was going to happen, so I was just at home," Blatter told MTN Sports.
The problem? Blatter had already committed to play baseball at the University of Alabama. The Cubs gave him a bit to decide with Blatter ultimately sticking with his commitment.
“I think I can only just raise my stock going to college," Blatter said. "I think it’s going to put me in a good position if I perform well. I’ve still got to go there and perform well to get higher in the draft or get to a spot I want to do that. I think it was in my best interest to go to college at the time and raise my stock a little bit."
Blatter will be draft-eligible again in two years. His draft stock, though, had been rising since performing well at Area Codes last August, but it really took off this summer when he was lights out at State College in the MLB Draft League.
In a state that doesn’t produce many high-level baseball prospects, Blatter wasn’t worried about exposure.
“I have a really good coach in Three Forks, Montana, Duwayne Scott, and he was an ex-scout, so he kind of knows the way of the ropes," Blatter said. "He reached out to guys for me, and I definitely wouldn’t be in the spot I am today without him. It’s kind of crazy from Montana, you never though, but they’ll find you if you’re good enough. That’s kind of what I’ve always been told and they definitely did.”
Now having made his decision to become a member of the Crimson Tide pitching staff, Blatter heads to Tuscaloosa next week, where he’s hoping to crack the rotation his freshman season and get innings in the SEC, one of college baseball’s best conferences.
“I would love to be a starter, but if that’s not the road I go down I just want to throw. Any way that I can get in and get innings, I’ll be happy with. At the end of the day, you want to be the starter, but any way I can contribute to the team in anyway possible, I’ll do it," said Blatter.
Blatter is hoping to eventually be on the short list of Montanan’s in the MLB, of which Missoula’s Codi Heuer is the only active player.