- Corey Dowlar, RecruitingNation
Taylor Blatch had heard plenty of good things about Florida State in the past, but to believe it, he needed to see it for himself.
The 5-foot-11, 170-pound right-handed pitcher finally got the opportunity when taking an unofficial visit starting Friday, July 13. By the time he left on Saturday, his questions had been answered and expectations had been met as Blatch became the Seminoles' seventh commitment for the class of 2013.
"It was an amazing feeling," he said of making his commitment to FSU. "I have always heard about how beautiful the campus was. I had to see it for myself and it was everything that people talked about. I felt welcome there and I felt like I could stay there for four years."
Throughout his recruitment, Blatch (Stuart, Fla./Jensen Beach) received heavy interest from schools throughout the Southeast.
National powers such as Florida, LSU and Miami, in addition to Florida State, kept very close tabs on him. But in the end, the Seminoles' coaching staff displayed enough consistency to leave a lasting, and deciding, mark.
"What drew me was how he kept up with me the past couple of months," Blatch said of assistant coach Mike Bell. "Through the good and the bad, he was always there. He stayed with me through everything and Florida State never lost interest. It showed me that they stick with their players all the way through."
Blatch is the latest commit with ties to the Orlando Scorpions -- a premier baseball travel team in Florida. Fellow Seminole verbals such as M.T. Minacci, Andy Ward and Carson Sands also play for one of the Sunshine State's best teams.
As far as Blatch is concerned, a little familiarity doesn't hurt.
"It played a part in my decision and choosing FSU because when you go to college, you wonder if you are going to know anybody up there, and sometimes you don't," he explained. "Knowing that I could be possible roommates with these guys, you know, that will be on my team. It just helped my decision a lot."
Although he stands just under six feet, Blatch is equipped with an impressive arm. He's topped out at 93 mph at showcases before showing more than adequate velocity to pitch at the college level.
Having less-than-prototypical size doesn't bother him, though. Instead, the hard-throwing right-hander uses it to his advantage.
"Personally, I see myself as a starter," Blatch began to detail. "I am the kind of guy that is overlooked -- I am not going to be intimidating on the mound by appearance, but I think I surprise people when I show them what I can do. They all look for my fastball, but I have a nice breaking pitch that can catch them off guard. It isn't what people always expect and I think that's what helps me be who I am."
Blatch recently learned he earned a roster spot at East Coast Pro Showcase, a non-profit event run by Major League Baseball scouts, that is reserved for the nation's elite. It is a distinction he isn't taking lightly.
"I feel honored to be on that team," Blatch said. "All the hard work paid off to be on this incredible scouting team. I am really looking forward to being on that team and showing them what I can do."
Blatch becomes the second pitcher of the 2013 class joining Oviedo, Fla., standout Andy Ward. Both are right-handers.