DENVER -- Bullpen coach Willie Blair was busy finishing up batting practice before Saturday's game against the Rockies, so he missed a text message from the Padres telling him that the organization was about to select his son, Taylor, with its 35th-round Draft pick.
However, Blair didn't miss the text message from his son after the pick became a reality.
"His first text back to me was one word. ... 'Wow,'" Blair said. "He was very excited."
Taylor Blair is 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, and he played at Lexington Christian Academy in Kentucky. He has signed with Eastern Kentucky University and is likely headed there.
"I would assume he will," Blair said. "Personally, I don't feel like he's quite ready yet. He's a big kid, but needs to gain some weight and get stronger. I actually think he's a better offensive player."
Blair said his son will get the chance to play the outfield and pitch at Eastern Kentucky, which happens to be the rival of the elder Blair's alma matter -- Morehead State University, also in Kentucky. Blair was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 11th round of the 1986 Draft and went on to win 60 games for eight teams in 12 Major League seasons.
This is Blair's first season as bullpen coach for the Padres. He was asked Sunday if it would have been nice to be involved in the same organization as his son.
"It would have been fun. But he's not quite ready yet," he said.
Chad MacDonald, the Padres' vice president and assistant general manger of player personnel, said the selection of Taylor Blair had nothing to do with nepotism.
"It wasn't because of the last name. His son has a lot of talent. Whether he decides to sign professionally or go on to college, we liked the talent, we liked the human being," MacDonald said. "He's a tremendous worker with great makeup. Obviously some good bloodlines, but regardless of what his last name was, we liked the player."