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9/11/1986 (30 y, 6 m, 16 d)
2004 June Amateur Draft - Round: 42, Pick: 1, Overall: 1241, Team: San Diego Padres
$1M / 1 Years (2015)
Blanks (Achilles) re-signed with the Giants on a minor league contract Friday, Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports. (10/28/2016)
Deep League Outfield Platoon Bats
Scott Spratt (RotoGraphs)
PTP'ers Who Could Become PTP'ers
Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs)
Kyle Blanks & Marco Estrada: Deep League Wire
Karl de Vries (RotoGraphs)
Texas Signs Top Source of Affordable Right-Handed »
Carson Cistulli (FanGraphs)
Looking for Value in the Non-Tenders
Eno Sarris (FanGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
The second most interesting player in the Padres lineup down the stretch, Blanks is unlike any player you’ve seen before. He’s huge – 6’6” and just shy of 290 pounds – yet he doesn’t usually strike out as much as you would expect. Yeah, he whiffed 36% of the time during his MLB debut, but he previously posted only one season since 2006 with a rate of more than 26%. His UZR sample size is too small to say anything about. Usually a first baseman, the Padres are probably going to try him at corner outfield until they decide whether they can afford to keep Adrian Gonzalez heading forward.
The Year Ahead:
Blanks has some impressive power. He blasted 10 shots in 172 plate appearances, which works out for a pace that even he won’t touch heading forward. About 20-25 home runs would be a nice first step, although 15-20 seems more likely, taking the home park into account, along with an assortment of hard-hit doubles. As mentioned, he’s likely to be wedged into an outfield spot even if it means a square peg in a round hole. All told, Blanks should be a welcomed addition to the Padres lineup and should help one of the more punchless units in baseball. (R.J. Anderson)
It's been a rough last couple of seasons for Blanks. After bursting on the scene with 10 home runs in just 172 at bats in 2009, he's struggled to hit for power or average the last two seasons. Even though he cut his strikeout rate to an acceptable level (and his afro), anyone that strikes out 26.8% of the time is going to struggle to hit for average consistently. The Padres are still young, however, and Blanks' size and power potential are intriguing, so he should get an opportunity to prove he belongs at some point this season -- maybe when Carlos Quentin gets hurt. He's got the potential to hit 25+ home runs, but his home park probably knocks him down to about 20ish dongers. (Chris Cwik)
The Quick Opinion:
Blanks hasn't been a great option the last two seasons, but he still has an interesting size/power combination. He might not provide a strong average, but he could be a cheap source of power if he gets enough playing time.
Save for four April games, Blanks missed all of 2012 after surgery on his left labrum. Once considered a top prospect, Blanks has now missed huge chunks of time in 2009 (foot), 2010-11 (Tommy John surgery), & now 2012 (shoulder). His power potential is still massive, but he's rarely stayed healthy enough to show it, and he'll likely need to prove his health in the minors before getting another shot in the bigs. (
Flashes of power have surfaced from time-to-time, but injuries and playing time seem to keep the 6-6, 265-pound first baseman/outfielder from reaching his potential. Blanks is a free-swinger with below-average career contact rates (69.5% Contact%), contributing to a disappointing .228/.312/.404 triple slash in just under 800 plate appearances in the majors. But 2013 seemed to tell a different tale for the right-hander,
who was having a career year in just about every offensive category
, until Achilles tendinitis sent him to the disabled for the majority of July and August. Upon his return from the disabled list, Blanks slashed .197/.258/.213 with 12 hits, zero homers, one double and one RBI in 66 plate appearances. Additionally, he saw a 15% jump in his strkeout rate -- from 24.4% K% to 39.4% K% -- which once again raised questions about his health. The Padres’ depth chart won’t be so Kyle Blanks friendly again in 2014, so for all intents and (fantasy) purposes, he should only be considered in NL-Only formats due to his position flexibility and lack of depth in the player pool. (Alan Harrison)
The Quick Opinion:
Power, patience, and whiffs -- but all in small sample sizes due to poor health. A full healthy year would be a first for Kyle Blanks, but with the depth chart getting more crowded, it's hard to say how many plate appearances are there for the big man.
Blanks was once a promising power bat in the Padres system, but injuries have derailed his career. Now 28, Blanks has struggled to translate his minor league power to the majors. However, he did succeed in a brief audition with the A's last season. In 56 plate appearances, he hit .333/.446/.489 with a .419 batting average on balls in play. Luck certainly played a role, but there is some tiny sample evidence that he could work as a platoon hitter. His first shot in 2015 appears to be with the Rangers, who have signed him to a split contract. If he can establish a regular role, he might become a viable streaming target against left-handed pitchers. (Brad Johnson)
The Quick Opinion:
Injuries have torpedoed the former sleeper, but he's still young enough to carve out a major league career. Walks and power (mostly against lefties) are Blanks' trademarks.
There isn't an official, MLBPA-sponsored list of The Most Quad-A Hitters of All Time, but if there was, Kyle Blanks would definitely be on it. To this day, Blanks continues to mash against minor league pitching, but his career .300/.400/.568 at Triple-A has never translated when it counted. Only 36 players in history who have struck out as often as Blanks have seen more than 900 plate appearances -- and one-third of them were pitchers. Fact of the matter is few hitters can whiff as often as Blanks and be productive enough for teams to tolerate them. The silver lining is the fact that, taken in all, his bat has been worth 8% more than the league average bat so far. Among that fabled group of 36, his bat ranks seventh by league-adjusted weighted on base average, so he'll probably always have that to his name. His closest offensive comp is Pedro Alvarez -- aside from Alvarez's slight power advantage, the two are almost identical -- and Alvarez's atrocious defense has actually made him less valuable than Blanks on a rate basis. Therefore, the San Francisco Giants, who recently signed Blanks to a minor league contract, may have actually picked up a decent depth piece. He won't see enough playing time to be worth your while in any format, though. That's his fantasy (and real life) modus operandi. (Alex Chamberlain)
The Quick Opinion:
Kyle Blanks has been a decent major league hitter, but unless your name is Chris Davis or Rob Deer, you won't see a lot of playing time with a 30% strikeout rate. Signed to a minor league contract with the Giants, Blanks is a long-shot to contribute meaningfully to fantasy teams.
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Updated: Monday, March 27, 2017 3:36 AM ET
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