The Padres Are Firing Blanks
As we near the end of May, Kyle Blanks has the second best wRC+ on the San Diego Padres at 143. I’m infatuated with Blanks and believe he would be an upgrade at first base, outfield, or designated hitter for a number of teams. This season, he appears to be coming into his own as a hitter. Blanks has always been able to take a walk and flash power, but lower strikeout totals have fueled his strong start.
Injuries have impeded Blanks’ development, but we forget he posted a similar wRC+ back in 2009 as a 22-year old. Players who establish themselves so early often become stars. Blanks may never reach his early potential because of missed time, but does this mean he still can’t become an above average regular?
The Padres have a talented core of young players, but their starting staff includes a bunch of fifth starters with no upside. Turning Blanks for a better rotation option would make sense for both Blanks and the Padres organization.
If he’s freed up to start, a mad dash to acquire him will ensue. Instead, why not speculate on the cheap and reap the rewards if/when he’s dealt later on?
Speaking of outfielders, Marlins Marcell Ozuna has played well enough to remain with the team once Giancarlo Stanton is healthy. I know this seems like a no brainer given the situation in Miami, but Ozuna will come back to earth. A .386 BABIP simply isn’t sustainable.
However, Ozuna’s success is a sign of things to come. When he was in the South Atlantic League, I had a contact who saw him play on multiple occasions. This scout was hard to please as he rarely liked a player, but Ozuna’s arm and power impressed. Even more important, the contact thought the young outfielder would cut down the strikeouts with experience and maturity.
25 Jan 2014 / Mike Newman /
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