05 July 2011

Cup of jO's (July 5, 2011): Introducing Kyle Blanks

Game Summary
Box Score / Play-by-Play / AP Recap

It was a typical evening for the 2011 Orioles. The offense sputtered through nine innings, notching just six hits -- two of them homeruns off the bat of Mark Reynolds, who now sits at 20 on the year. Reynolds's homeruns are becoming almost a nightly occurrence, but unfortunately so too are his errors. He booted a grounder to earn an E yesterday -- also his 20th on the year. Chris Jakubauskas and Alfredo Simon were slapped around the Ballpark at Arlington to the tune of 12 R, 11 ER, 16 H and just 2 SO over 6.1 IP. The battered Birds will send Mitch Atkins to the mound tonight -- click here for the STATS LLC preview of his match-up against Matt Harrison and the Rangers.

Of interest...
Of interest to me this morning is our first proposed trade target for this July's trade deadline -- San Diego 1b/of Kyle Blanks. We will provide a full scouting report on Blanks, but for now I simply want to introduce you to a talent I believe could fill Baltimore's first base hole for the foreseeable future. Blanks missed a chunk of 2010 and the start of 2011 recovering from Tommy John surgery. While he was out, the Padres traded their All-Star first baseman, Adrian Gonzalez, to Boston this past winter in exchange for a package that included Anthony Rizzo -- a highly regarded first base prospect. Rizzo has quickly risen through the Minors and currently finds himself at first for the Padres, potentially making Blanks available.

While Blanks has logged some time in the outfield corners while blocked by Gonzalez, he is a plodder and not well suited to the spacious outfield of Petco. It seems unlikely the Padres would turn around and move one of the primary pieces in the AGon deal, which means Blanks should be available for the right price. Is he worth pursuing?

This past week the Padre slugger earned Pacific Coast League (AAA) player of the week honors, after posting a seven day triple slash line of .520/.586/1.240, going 13-for-25. He profiles as a corner bat with above average hit and power tools, and a ceiling somewhere around a .390 wOBA, 30-35 homerun pop and an ability to draw 65-75 walks a year. We'll dig into Banks in more detail with our scouting report -- for now, we just wanted to introduce you to him. Here are his relevant stat pages: Fangraphs | Baseball-reference


Bret said...

The O's and Padres don't seem like a good match to me. Both are sellers and and I'm not sure what prospect the O's would be willing to give up and that the Padres would want. Machado and Schoop are untouchable, no one else is very good in AA or AAA. And the Padres aren't going to give up offensive potential easily given that they play in Petco and are desperate for power.

Most likely O's partners for me are TX and Cin. Frazier and Alonso for Guthrie and Hardy seems like win-win and Chris Davis for Guthrie or Koji or JJ in some form seems mutually beneficial. O's have to fill 1B for long term no matter what at the deadline.

Nick J Faleris said...

I think the big "match" with San Diego is the local connection with Jones a native. Further, Cedric Hunter and Cameron Maybin haven't grabbed hold of that center field position. If the Padres believe in Jones as a center fielder, he seems to make a lot of sense for them. Of course, who knows how they value him.

Blanks is an interesting proposition for the Padres because he doesn't have a place to play. If they have a chance to move his upside in exchange for an established, relatively cheap talent that fills a need, I could definitely see them pulling the trigger.

I don't have much interest in Chris Davis, but agree Cincinnati would appear to make sense for both teams.

Bret said...

I agree they should trade Jones but he won't be cheap next year (6-7 million in arbitration which for the Padres is all the gold in Fort Knox). Maybin and Blanks for Jones - I say deal, but MacPhail won't. Not sure why everyone hates Chris Davis,, he is only 25 years old (born same year as Blanks by the way) and has a .967 career OPS in the minors. He hasn't been great in the big leagues yet but he hasn't been awful either and is cheap and just entering his prime years. Rangers need bullpen help, Koji straight up for him would be a steal and they might do it because the Rangers don't think much of him either.

Nick J Faleris said...

I think Davis is a fine bench bat, but after around 1000 plate appearances he has shown an inability to adjust to off-speed pitches and not enough stick to be a regular at a corner or DH. I see more Shelly Duncan than anything else. I don't think Davis will ultimately provide anything more significant than Nolan Reimold provides.

If it's my decision, I'd rather move Koji for something else.