Tom de Blok

From BR Bullpen

Tom Robin de Blok

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 4", Weight 195 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Tom de Blok participated in the MLB European Academy in 2013. In the 2013 European Junior Championship, he had the worst ERA on the Netherlands (4 R in 2 2/3 IP; 2 H, 2 BB, 5 K). The Seattle Mariners signed him that August; the scouts were Wayne Norton and Peter van Dalen. They already had two Dutch pitchers under contract in Lars Huijer and Scott Ronnenbergh. He attended extended spring training in 2014 but returned to the Netherlands after a couple of weeks, voluntarily retiring, saying baseball in America was a job and not fun like in the Netherlands.

He played for the L&D Amsterdam Pirates in the 2015 European Cup, allowing three runs in two innings. He was 4-0 with 3 saves and a 1.54 ERA in the 2015 Hoofdklasse, finishing among the league leaders in ERA (5th, between Kevin Heijstek and Tom Stuifbergen), opponent average (.195, 4th, between Heijstek and Jim Ploeger) and saves (7th). He won the Roel de Mon Award. He was a big part of the Pirates' win in the 2016 European Champions Cup, saving Heijstek's win over host Rimini and Kyle Ward's win over rival Neptunus. He tied Carlos Teran for the event lead in saves. In the finale, he relieved Daan Hendrix and worked the final 2 2/3 to get the win over Rimini (1 H, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 UER) in a 10-inning contest. He came up big for the Netherlands in the 2016 Haarlem Baseball Week finale, relieving Berry van Driel in the 6th with the bases loaded and two outs in a scoreless battle with Japan. He bailed out van Driel and worked a scoreless 7th as the Dutch took the lead, then Loek van Mil closed out the win for the Dutch.

In the 2016 Hoofdklasse, he was 5-0 with a save and a 0.88 ERA for Amsterdam. He was 2nd in the league in ERA (.26 behind Kenny Vandenbranden), allowed the lowest average (.153, .019 less than Vandenbranden), tied Reggie Bomberg for 3rd in saves and was 4th with 26 games pitched. He won games 1 and 4 of the 2016 Holland Series against Neptunus, both in extra innings, but lost game 6 (he had the only Amsterdam wins of the Series) as Neptunus wrapped it up. His 0.84 ERA was 3rd in the Series after Hendrix and van Driel and tied Orlando Yntema for the most wins. He then made the Dutch team for the 2016 European Championship. In his debut for the Netherlands in a major tournament, he relieved van Mil in the 8th inning of a 10-2 win over Germany. He walked Philip Schulz in a 10-pitch at-bat then caught Jendrick Speer's liner and threw to first for the double play. Marcel Jimenez flew out, and Kevin Kelly relieved in the 9th. He pitched four games in the 2016 Euros for the champion Netherlands, with one run in four innings (2 H, 2 BB, 4 K). He tied Rhiner Cruz, van Mil and Andy Orfanakos for the most games pitched (excluding the final day, which does not count for leaderboard purposes).

After the few years back in the Netherlands, de Blok participated in the 2017 World Baseball Classic as a member of the Netherlands national baseball team. He threw two scoreless innings during the tournament, allowing a single hit and striking out two. That strong performance saw the Detroit Tigers reach out to him with a contract offer, one he inked the month following the tournament.

He began his career in organized baseball in 2017, splitting the season between the Connecticut Tigers and the West Michigan Whitecaps, going a combined 4-2, 2.74 in 24 games and 82 innings. In 2018, he started the year at West Michigan and later pitched for the Lakeland Flying Tigers of the Florida State League. In 19 starts, he was 5-6, 4.71 in 101 1/3 innings. He then had a dreadful season with Lakeland in 2019 - at least in terms of his win/loss record, as he finished at 2-13 in 21 games. But his other stats were not bad, with a 4.04 ERA in 111 1/3 innings, 98 hits allowed and 85 strikeouts.


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