Blanks was drafted all the way in the 42 round of the 2004 draft out of Yavapai Community College in Arizona. The big, lanky right handed slugger is generally thought to be a first baseman but is able to handle himself in the outfield. This is a good thing considering there’s currently a giant road block at first base by the name of Adrian Gonzalez.
The really intriguing thing about Blanks is his proven ability to hit for both average and power – something someone his age and stature generally don’t carry hand-in-hand. He has continually improved his plate discipline which is the key to him reaching his full potential which I see as a Frank Thomas/Jermaine Dye type hitter. That’s a pretty high standard to live up to.
Blanks is one of those guys who I am very excited to see how he progresses this, his first full, season in the big leagues. In only 172 plate appearances last season for the Padres, Blanks put together a solid line of .250/.355/.514 with 10 HR, 22 RBI and .264 ISO. Pretty impressive start.
Now I want to turn our attention to some of the projections out there. The main two I want to look at are the Bill James and CHONE projections (all courtesy of FanGraphs). Alongside them will be my projections for Blanks in the upcoming season:
As you can see CHONE isn’t projecting Blanks as highly as Bill James and I are. CHONE also has him only having 416 plate appearances too where James and I both see him being essentially an every day player. I really do see Blanks being an annual home run force and competing for the crown on a yearly basis with this year being his coming out party.
I also see Blanks’ batting average and on-base percentage growing in the coming years and giving Padres fans something to cheer about with the impending loss of Mr. Gonzalez in the next couple seasons.
Even big old PetCo can’t hold this monster.