Robert Nicholas Blackburn (born February 24, 1982 in Ada, Oklahoma) is a Major League Baseball pitcher in the Minnesota Twins system. He graduated from Del City High School in Del City, Oklahoma. He attended Seminole State College. The 6-4, 227 pound right-hander was originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 34th round of the 2000 amateur entry draft. The Minnesota Twins then drafted him in the 29th round of the 2001 amateur entry draft. The Minnesota Twins signed him on May 21, 2002. From 2002 to 2007, he pitched 6 seasons for the Minnesota Twins minor league system. In 138 minor league appearances, he pitched 702 innings, posting 40-40 record with 434 strikeouts and a 3.68 ERA. His best season in the minors came in 2007, and after the season Baseball America ranked him as the Twins' No. 1 prospect. Since 2008 Blackburn has pitched for the major league Minnesota Twins.
Blackburn’s repertoire consists of a 2-seam fastball, sinker, 4-seam fastball, changeup, curveball, and slider. His fastball is not overpowering, usually in the high 80’s to low 90’s; however, his 6-4 stand makes his fastball “appear to get on batters faster than the miles per hour would indicate.” He normally uses his fastball to get hitters off-balance before he pitches his four breaking balls. He throws a nice curveball and tight slider. When pitching at his best, he can locate all five of his pitches for strikes, which can make him nearly unhittable.