Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Adrian Gonzalez or Kyle Blanks

Ok, now this isn't a question that came up last year, but believe me when I say this, it will come up this season.

Young prospect, though he doesn't quite look young at 6'6" and 270 lbs, Kyle Blanks has started to make a case for himself during Spring Training while current Padres' first baseman Adrian Gonzalez plays for Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. Blanks is currently hitting .325 with a .429 on base percentage, a stat this organization absolutely smiles upon, as well as 3 HR's and 9 RBI's in 40 total at bats.

The reason this becomes a question is, with Blanks just below the majors as he'll start his season in AAA-Portland, a lot of teams will be looking at him with the assumption that the Padres will not be willing to part with Adrian Gonzalez, so they might possibly have to unload Blanks in a trade. There has been talk, however, that the Padres have kicked around the idea of sliding him to the outfield to have both his and Gonzalez' bats in the lineup. Although Blanks has good speed for a guy of his size, he doesn't have quite the lateral movement needed to cover the vast outfield of Petco Park.

If Blanks tears up AAA and shows no sign of slowing down, the Padres may have some serious decision making to do about his future. Do you call Portland and move him to the outfield to see how he does, or do you really want to risk him being a defensive liability?

If you're asking me, Blanks can be the Padres' future at 1st base, but with the offensive output that the Padres have gotten from Adrian Gonzalez, it definitely could be one of the toughest decisions they'll make, because after Blanks, there isn't a prospect in their farm system that could make the kind of impact than that of Kyle Blanks.

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