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Rays take second shortstop in 12th round

Rays take second shortstop in 12th round

Rays take second shortstop in 12th round

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays used their 12th-round pick in the First-Year Player Draft on Saturday to select their second shortstop, Wake Forest's Pat Blair.

Drafted with the 368th overall pick, Blair stands at 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds. He recently completed his senior season at Wake Forest with a .283 average, a higher on-base percentage (.459) than slugging percentage (.424) and 19 stolen bases in 21 attempts.

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Blair, who was drafted by the Astros in the 24th round of the 2012 Draft, has been described as the kind of hard-nosed gamer who plays the game the right way, but he also offers a solid package of tools that could eventually land him a job as at least a Major League utility man.

He will be a singles and doubles hitter, probably displaying gap power at best, but he flashes some speed on the basepaths and plays an serviceable shortstop.

Tampa Bay opted for a higher-upside shortstop with its second-round pick as well in Arizona high schooler Riley Unroe. There have been questions about Unroe's signability because he is committed to play for the University of Southern California, though the Rays are optimistic about their chances of landing him. Blair, meanwhile, is out of college eligibility and would seem to be an easier sign.

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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