Blake hiked extensively during the offseason, all over his home state of Washington… his favorite hike was at Rialto Beach, where he flew his drone around some islands close to the shore…also hiked at Snow Lake, in Mount Rainier National Park...Volunteered to help coach the basketball team at his alma mater, Shorewood High School, this past winter and might consider coaching baseball and basketball after his playing career is over…Blake played basketball at Shorewood his senior year...His father, Dave, is in his third year as head baseball coach at Shoreline (Wash.) Community College…Dave pitched six minor league seasons with the Royals and Mariners systems from 1983-88…was 28-36 with a 3.54 ERA in 194 apps (43 starts)…had his best season in 1987 with Class-A Salinas when he went 5-4 with 3 saves and a 1.96 ERA in 47 apps...Blake is one of four brothers including a twin, Tyler, who is in the construction framing business...He owns between 225 and 250 pairs of shoes… began his collection in the 7th grade...Blake has a chocolate lab named Junior.
Named the club's Rookie of the Year by the Tampa Bay Chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America…ranked 3rd among AL rookies with 19 starts and 5th with 98 SO…his 3.54 ERA ranked 2nd among AL rookies (min. 10 starts) behind DET Michael Fulmer (3.06)… kept his ERA below 4.00 all season...Between the Rays and Triple-A Durham, combined for a career-high 31 starts and 152 IP…his previous highs were 24 starts in 2014 and 134 IP in 2015...His 9.91 SO/9 IP ratio led AL rookies (min. 10 starts), set a club rookie record and ranked 8th overall in the AL...Yielded only 5 HR in 89 IP with the Rays…his 0.51 HR/9 IP ratio led major league rookies (min. 10 starts), was a club rookie record and ranked 3rd overall behind OAK/LAD Rich Hill (0.33) and LAD Clayton Kershaw (0.48)...Yielded 0 HR and only 2 XBH to left-handed hitters (87 BF)-doubles by LAA Kole Calhoun and BOS David Ortiz...Opponents hit just .043 (2-for-46) with 1 2B and 27 SO in at-bats ending with his curveball…according to PITCHf/x, it was the lowest opp avg. of any pitch in the majors (min. 40 AB ending with the pitch)...Min. 75 IP, his 19.3 pitches per inning were the most in the majors and in club history…his 5.16 BB/9 IP (89-IP, 51-BB) was the highest in the majors and highest by a Ray since Seth McClung (5.94) in 2006…his 1.62 WHIP was the 4th highest in the AL and highest by a Ray since Andy Sonnanstine (1.66) in 2009....Averaged less than 5 IP per start…made 6 starts of less than 4 IP, tied for 2nd most in the majors behind MIN Tyler Duffey (7), and most by a Rays pitcher in a season since Edwin Jackson (7) in 2007…pitched less than 5 innings in 6 of his last 9 starts, including his rain-shortened finale, Sep 28 at CWS (2.2 IP)...Held opponents to 2 ER or fewer in 14 of his 19 starts, including 8 consecutive starts from July 7-Aug 22, the longest such streak by a rookie in club history…passed Matt Moore (7) in 2012...Recalled from Triple-A Durham on April 23 to make a spot start, the third Rays pitcher to make his major league debut at Yankee Stadium (David Price in 2008, Bobby Seay in 2001)-but first as a starter…his line: ND, 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 6 SO…his 6 SO were the most by a visiting pitcher in his debut at Yankee Stadium since BOS Robinson Checo (6) on Sep 16, 1997… twice struck out Alex Rodriguez, who he grew up watching as a young Mariners fan…only run scored on a 1st-inning WP…left with a 2-1 lead but earned no decision in the 3-2 loss...Recalled again June 16 and remained in the majors through the end of the season...Earned his first win on June 27 vs. BOS, his fourth start, snapping the Rays 11-game losing streak with a 13-7 victory…at 23 years, 206 days, became the youngest Rays pitcher to beat the Red Sox since Scott Kazmir did it at 22 years, 160 days on July 3, 2006 (2-hit SHO)...Enjoyed arguably his best start of the season on July 19 at COL after a two-hour rain delay to start the game…over 6 scoreless innings, his only hit allowed was a single by Charlie Blackmon in the 4th…became the second visiting rookie in Coors Field history to pitch 6-plus scoreless innings and allow one hit or fewer, following SD Oliver Perez on July 7, 2002…his 9 SO were a career high (tied on July 31 vs. NYY)...Led major league rookies with 33 SO in July, most ever by a Rays rookie in the month of July…his 2.76 ERA for the month ranked 5th among major league rookies and 2nd among AL rookies (min. 25 IP) behind DET Michael Fulmer (2.67)...Made 4 starts against the Yankees, going 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA (18-IP, 6-ER) and 24 SO...Finished the season with a streak of 11 consecutive scoreless innings…did not allow a run over his final 2 starts, spanning 7.2 IP, the last one shortened by rain. Ê Didn't hit a batter in any of his 19 starts, passing Wade Davis in 2009-10 (16 starts) for the longest streak without a HBP to start a major league career in franchise history...Yielded 9 unearned runs, most of any AL rookie and most by a Rays rookie since Matt Moore in 2012 (10)…unearned runs accounted for 20.5 pct. of his total runs allowed...Faced four former Cy Young Award winners (CLE Corey Kluber, DET Justin Verlander, BOS David Price, HOU Dallas Keuchel) and lost all 4 of those starts…those four opponents recorded a combined 0.87 ERA (31-IP, 3-ER)...For Triple-A Durham, went 3-5 with a 3.29 ERA (63-IP, 23-ER) in 12 starts…at the time of his June 16 recall, his 90 SO led the International League and ranked 2nd in the minors…also led the IL with 12.9 SO/9 IP…in his final start, June 10 at Lehigh Valley (Phillies), recorded a careerhigh 13 SO in 5.2 IP…had a pair of scoreless starts the week prior, earning IL Pitcher of the Week honors for May 30-June 5.
Named Minor League player of the Year by USA Today and Baseball America…he is just the ninth player, fifth pitcher and second Ray to win both awards…Jeremy Hellickson won both in 2010…named Rays Minor League Pitcher of the Year for the second consecutive season…Was a combined 15-4 with a 1.41 ERA and 163 strikeouts in 25 games, 23 starts with stops at Class-A Charlotte, Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham…over the past 75 years, only three other pitchers have reached his numbers for wins (15), ERA (1.41) and strikeouts (163) in a minor league season: SF Salomon Torres in 1991 (16-6, 1.41, 214-SO), BAL Orlando Peña in 1972 (22-3, 1.25, 187-SO) and STL-AL Ned Garver in 1944 (21-8, 1.21, 221-SO)…His 1.41 ERA led all minor league qualifiers and was the lowest for a full-season pitcher since Justin Verlander's 1.29 in 2005…also led all minor league pitchers in 2015 with a .182 opp avg. and ranked 4th in wins and strikeouts…Across all three levels, he struck out 31.3 pct. of all batters faced…He recorded a scoreless innings streak of 49 innings, including the first 46 innings of 2015… didn't allow a run in 21 IP at Charlotte or in his first 25 IP at Montgomery…according to Baseball America, the longest shutout run in minor league history was 72 IP by Irv "Kaiser" Wilhelm spanning 1907-11…more recently, Brad Thompson logged 57.2 consecutive scoreless frames for Double-A Tennessee (Cardinals) in 2004…Snell's streak ended in the first inning of his 2-1 win over Tennessee on May 23…allowed 3 H, 1 BB and struck out a career-high 12 in the game, including 3 SO against Cubs rookie sensation Kyle Schwarber… During his career he has faced Schwarber 8 times and struck him out 7…Twins rookie standout Miguel Sano was 0-for-5 with 3 SO in 2015, his only experience facing Snell…In his 23 starts, he allowed no runs eight times and one run or fewer 18 times…also had 2 relief innings of 5 and 6 innings in which he didn't allow a run…only once did he allow more than 3 runs: on June 4 at Jacksonville (Marlins) he permitted 4 runs in a 5-1 loss…he allowed one hit or fewer in 5 starts…had a combined onehitter in a 9-0 win Aug 9 vs. Louisville (Reds)…At each stop along the way lowered his BB per 9 IP rate: from 4.7 at Charlotte to 3.8 at Montgomery to 2.6 at Durham…issued 4.91 BB per 9 IP prior to 2015 (157-BB, 288.1-IP)…Went 5-0 in his last 6 starts with a 1.78 ERA…Pitched a perfect inning in the All-Star Futures Game in Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park.