All about the Braves and baseball events.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Best Walking Slap-Hitter Ever!

Position: Left Fielder
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 170 lbs.
2009 Age: 25

For someone who Bobby inserted into the lineup after Bobby Cox lost faith in Matt Diaz being an everyday player, Blanco didn't do too bad. :) He first emerged as a platoon partner for Diaz. However, he was inserted as the full-time center fielder after Mark Kotsay injured his back. Blanco platooned with Omar Infante after Kotsay returned to the lineup.

Blanco is a bit of an anomaly. He's a slap-hitter with very little power. However, his walk totals make him valuable. This may mean he has a role on the team next year. He's only a mediocre defender and doesn't run the bases well, as evidenced by his weak stolen base totals despite his raw speed.

HE'S GOT SOME PATIENCE: Out of every player in baseball history with an 81 OPS+, Blanco had the most walks (74) since Walt Weiss, who had 79 with Florida in 1993. Blanco is sixth overall on the list.

BIG WALKER: Last season, Blanco was second on the Braves in walks (74). Chipper Jones lead the team with 90 free passes.

BLANCO AND WEISS:: Continuing on the first point, Weiss's 1993 season and Blanco's 2008 season were remarkably similar:

Walt Weiss, 1993: 591 PA, .266/.367/.308, 14 2B, 2 SB, 1 HR, 39 RBI, 79 BB, 73 SO
Gregor Blanco, 2008: 514 PA, .251/.366/.309, 14 2B, 4 3B, 1 HR, 38 RBI, 74 BB, 99 SO

My Outlook: If the Braves don't trade for Nick Swisher or Xavier Nady, Blanco may have to fight Brandon Jones and Josh Anderson for a spot in the Braves outfield. He does have the most experience, so he does have an edge. If he makes the team, look for him to continue to provide walks and nothing else.

No comments: