Blanks clearly didn't get the memo about right-handed hitters faring better against opposite-handed pitchers. The right-handed slugger hit just .238 vs. lefties, with a .680 OPS. Against righties, Blanks batted .348 with a .977 OPS.
Scouting report: A tall, big-bodied first baseman who's a better athlete than one would think. He's shown ability to hit for average and power and he's working on improving plate discipline. The key will be his weight and conditioning.
Upside potential: An everyday first baseman and run-producer. High-end, he's a version of Frank Thomas.
He said it: "I feel like I progressed as a hitter, approach-wise. I built up my patience. I definitely attribute a lot of my success to my coaches Max Venable [last year at Lake Elsinore] and Terry Kennedy [this year at San Antonio]. I've talked a lot to them about my swing and my approach and they had a big part in my success. I had to listen to what they said. I can't thank them enough. It was trial-and-error and I was learning every game about making adjustments. I had to find that out and those two gave me some big help."
They said it: "I call him Big Hondo. I like his power. He has a chance to hit for power and average. And he's a better first baseman than people think. And he can play left field like the real Hondo [Frank Howard]. He runs a 7.1-7.5 in the 60, too, which is good for a near-300-pounder. The biggest thing for him is if he keeps his weight down. If he does that, he'll continue on to the Major Leagues. If he doesn't keep his weight down, he may never make it." -- Padres scout Bill Bryk