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Blaze Alexander on His Growth This Spring Training and How His Past Contributed

The impressive prospect shares how he's improved this Spring, and discusses his mentors, his family, and what it's like playing two new positions.

Blaze Alexander has spent all Spring Training trying to open the Diamondbacks' coaches and Manager Torey Lovullo's eyes just as he was told to do. It's working because he has put on a clinic in both hitting and fielding regardless of the circumstance or position. 

The top-twenty prospect for the D-backs is pushing to make the Opening Day roster as a backup infielder. This is because he's blocked at shortstop by Geraldo Perdomo, at third base by Eugenio Suárez, and at second base by Ketel Marte. Still, that hasn't deterred Alexander from doing all he can to make the roster, even against strong competition such as Elvis Andrus and Kevin Newman.

Alexander has been putting on a show in practice and in games with his strong arm and display of consistently getting to the ball regardless of where it is. While he's still a shortstop, he takes pride in being able to make people take notice of the fact that he can play three positions.

"I love to move. If I can play three positions and the versatility, I mean people kind of take note of that. Not just 'hey, I'm a shortstop,' but I can play second and third just as good as I can play shortstop. I'm enjoying it, enjoying moving around. Kind of a new position every day just keeps my brain going, keeps me focused...I'd say shortstop I'm definitely comfortable over there. I'm loving playing second base and making some diving plays all over the field and then third base, I can kind of show off my arm but really wherever they put me, I'm just happy."

As Lovullo has said numerous times, he wants his backup infielders to be glove first and "pick up the ball." Alexander is doing everything he can to prove that at short, second and third while getting valuable help from the current starters at those positions. 

"Ketel Marte, I mean unbelievable guy, he won't Big League you or anything, not afraid to talk to you at second and give his input...Same with Suárez at third base, just teaching me the angles at third, how to throw...I mean Geraldo Perdomo, came up with him, he's my guy. He makes it fun to be out there every day...just little things they say throughout the day kind of either motivate you or just offering a little help in hand."

So far, in 32 at-bats, Alexander is hitting .406 with a 1.000 OPS. He has 13 hits, two runs, an RBI, three stolen bases, two doubles, and two triples. He has struck out six times against three walks making for a strong ratio and limited strikeouts.

This is exactly what the Diamondbacks wanted to see from Alexander after he had an injury-plagued season in 2023 with strikeout issues. While his .873 OPS was good, it was also done in Reno where hitting numbers are typically high. Plus, he had 88 strikeouts in just 79 games. He missed two months early in the season with a broken thumb.

According to Alexander, "I knew the K rate was up a little bit last year and I think coming back from injury, I think I was just trying to do too much. Trying to get all those numbers from those two months that I missed, I was trying to pile all the numbers, kind of chasing pitches, swinging at pitches, trying to get hits instead of just letting the game come to you. I know I can control the zone and control my swings and I think I'm showing that now."

Alexander has shown impressive line drive ability this Spring Training without selling out for power. He credits that to Hitting Coach Joe Mather and the work they did in the offseason. 

"I'm coming in every day locked in. I know I'm a hitter. I can hit. It's just kind of I'm at that stage where I can prove that. Show them that I can control at-bats, hit the ball hard, hit the ball the other way, hit the ball in the gap, and just off-season work definitely paid off with Joe Mather and those guys in the cage. They preached the 5-25 degree launch angle and I think it fits perfect with myself. I'm not trying to do too much, not trying to hit homers, just drive the ball to the middle of the field and hit it hard." 

Blaze Alexander comes from a true baseball family. His family has an incredible pedigree in MLB history with seven members in his family having played or currently playing in MLB or the minor leagues. 

His grandfather, a World War Two vet, played with the Cubs. His father is a former MiLB pitcher with Cleveland. His uncle is former D-backs reliever and current MLB Network analyst Dan Plesac. His brother CJ is an infielder in the Royals organization. And his cousin, Zach Plesac, is a pitcher with the Angels.

When asked about it, Alexander said that it's a "Big baseball family obviously, my brother plays, my cousin now with the Angels, played with the Guardians in the Big Leagues, my uncle Joe, my uncle Dan both played, obviously, Dan had a really good career. My father was a left-handed pitcher in the Indians organization. Just ultra competitive family and we have that baseball DNA. I mean I'm just thankful to grow up in that kind of family and it got me to where I am today."

"I was always the younger guy, my dad would put together clinics and throwing programs and all the older guys, my cousins, my brother, always surrounded by older guys. Feel like that kind of gave me the edge. I wanted to throw like those guys and be like those guys from a young age."

The Indiana-born product moved to Florida around seventh grade for baseball reasons such as year-round play and better competition. That's where he discovered his baseball mentors who helped him reach the success that he has had in his career so far.

"My first three years, I was going to a Catholic high school in Fort Myers, and Head Coach David Nelson, Rich, I mean that guy hit me countless amounts of ground balls...Chris Sabo over at IMG. They laid the foundation. They knew I was kind of going to be that guy that put my head on straight and just continued to have me work hard and again, it got me to where I am today, and forever thankful to those guys. I'll make sure that if I ever make a debut, those guys are the first couple guys I call and just let them know that I appreciate them, got me to where I am."

Blaze Alexander is seeking to make his first Opening Day roster with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The top prospect has proven his versatility and shown a strong ability with the bat. He's doing everything he can to make the D-backs, Lovullo, and GM Mike Hazen's decision difficult when it comes to setting the roster.