Friday, June 19, 2009

Hot Prospect: Kyle Blanks

posted by Jon Williams
The Padres have announced the call up of their number one prospect, Kyle Blanks. Although his best position is first base, Blanks will start in the Padres outfield four or five days per week. He only qualifies at first base right now in most leagues. If you have seen Kyle Blanks in action you may wonder about the 6'6'', 250-plus pounder's ability to cover the huge territory of left field in Petco Park. However Blanks is every athletic and considers playing good defense a point of pride.

Blanks is a very talented hitter. Throughout his minor league career he has shown the ability to hit for a high batting average. This year, his first at triple-A has been a little different. He seems to have traded some contact for increased power. His 2009 K-rate was 27 percent, but he had 12 homeruns in 233 at-bats. He runs well and will steal the occasional base. He is a fly ball hitter who also hits a considerable number of line drives.

I love Blanks as a prospect but his contact rate this season concerns me. Blanks is at his best when he is making good contact and hitting line drives to all fields. My gut feeling is that he will do very well. But if he maintains his current contact rate he may not hit for much of an average. And we all know that power numbers are reduced at Petco. He should be useful in all NL-only leagues and deeper mixed leagues.



Statistics via FanGraphs.com


Season Team BB% K% OBP SLG ISO Spd BABIP wOBA
2006 Padres (A) 10.50% 25.60% 0.382 0.455 0.162 2.3 0.365 0.389
2007 Padres (A+) 8.60% 21.10% 0.380 0.540 0.239 6.3 0.338 0.403
2008 Padres (AA) 9.40% 18.30% 0.404 0.514 0.189 4.3 0.366 0.408
2009 Padres (AAA) 14.30% 27.00% 0.393 0.485 0.202 2.1 0.342 0.391

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