Michael Blanchard commits to Old Dominion

By John Nolan
Assistant Director of Scouting

2014 Top Prospect Games participant and Nansemond River High School pitcher Michael Blanchard has verbally committed to attend Old Dominion University in the fall of 2016. Blanchard is the second current Warrior to commit as he will follow senior infielder Kieton Rivers (Coastal Carolina) to Division I.  The Warriors have had an outstanding spring and currently are ranked No. 16 in the PBR VA/DC Power 25 Rankings and are one of the most talented teams in 4A this spring.

Blanchard has a lanky 6-foot-6 frame. He has a smooth drop and drive delivery and throws from a low three-quarters arm slot. His arm action is long and loose and he has a quick armstroke that allows him to generate easy velocity. His shoulders are level and slightly closed and he strides out on line before landing square and coming to an athletic finish. Blanchard’s fastball sat at 81, touching 82 at the Pre-season All-State Showcase in February. The pitch had heavy, late sink to it and was commanded well. His slider had late downer action with decent armspeed and ran 68-69. His change-up was very good and he commanded it well. It was thrown with full armspeed and had armside run to it, coming in 72-75.

When Blanchard arrives at Old Dominion, he figures to be able to immediately contribute to the Monarch pitching staff as an impact reliever who will be very hard on right handers. As he fills out, his velocity should increase and Blanchard has the tools to grow into a weekend starter that works well with three pitches and keeps the ball on the ground, a characteristic that has increased in value recently with the introduction of the flat-seamed baseball this spring at the collegiate level. Blanchard’s feel for a good change-up will allow him to limit the platoon advantage that lefties have on low slot throwers and he should be a nightmare for right-handed hitters.

Congratulations Michael!