Because you’re the sort of Astute Reader who makes it his (or her) business to periodically check up on us here at The New Enthusiast, then you might very well also be the sort of Informed Fan who caught wind, last Friday, of man-tower Kyle Blanks‘s promotion to San Diego from their (i.e. San Diego’s) Triple-A affiliate, the Beavers of Portland, Ore.
More than its great coffee, myriad farmers’ markets, and roving bands of New York Times travel writers*, the greatest pleasure in the Rose City this spring has been watching Monsieur Blanks jack dongers out of Portland’s PGE Park — something I’ve been able to do (i.e. watch Blanks) with considerable frequency in my capacity as Official Baseballing Journalist for the-little-website-that-could, the Portland Sportsman. Some might even go so far as to say that I’ve developed a bit of a man crush on KB. “Some,” I say; having been born and raised in New England — where the bucklehat remains a viable fashion option — I endeavor always to distance myself from such vulgar expressions. Still, it’s true: Blanks possesses a certain je ne sais quoi that I, for one, am not able to comprends entirely but enjoy nevertheless.
While my instinct is to greedily hoard each and every little thing that brings me pleasure, I’ve learned from years of Disney animated features that sometimes, if you truly love something, you’ve got to set it free. Furthermore, I have little choice in the matter: unbelievably, San Diego GM Kevin Towers isn’t in the business of consulting middling interweb journalists like yours truly on personnel decisions involving his organization’s top prospects. That being the case, I’ve decided to accept the facts and turn these lemons (i.e. Blanks’s departure from Portland) into lemonade (i.e. by introducing my fellow Americans to the Big Fun that is Kyle Blanks).
I don’t know what y’alls opinion is of calls-to-action, but if it doesn’t rankle you excessively, I encourage any and all of you to get yourselves in front of a television box for one of the Padres’ upcoming games at Seattle, during which series Blanks will very probably make an appearance at designated hitter, if not elsewhere.
“Why would I do such a thing?” maybe you’re asking, nor do I fault you for doing so.
While seeing is most definitely believing when it comes to matters Blanksian, there are perhaps some salient facts which might serve to enrich the Reader’s Kyle Blanks Experience. For example, it would benefit anyone to know that:
- Kyle Blanks is ginormous. He’s 6′ 6″ and listed alternately at 270 and 285 lbs, though I’ve heard from entirely reliable, and equally anonymous, sources, that he might be closer to three bills. Fact: that’s a big man.
- Kyle Blanks is a real prospect. As a 22-year-old in the Pacific Coast League this year he’s batted .283/.393/.485 while playing in what has generally rated as a pitcher’s park (PGE has sported park factors of 938, 950, and 960 over the last three years, respectively, according to this year’s installment of Baseball Prospectus). And while his contact rate is low-ish this year (27.0 K%), it’s been better in the lower levels (18.3 K% last year in Double-A, 21.1 K% two years ago in Single-A). And again, he’s only 22.
- Kyle Blanks puts the pain in Au Bon Pain*. I’m serious, ask anyone**.
- Owing to his size, Blanks is almost assuredly destined for first base-dom somewhere in his future. Only problem is, a kinda good baseballer already mans that posish for San Diego. As such, Blanks has played a number of Triple-A games in left field, where — anecdotally, at least — he’s looked fine. How that translates from PGE’s relatively friendly confines to the mostly treacherous ones at Petco is another question. In his debut, he made two plays on two chances — one out of his zone, according to Hardball Times.
- Blanks defeated Levi’s Jeans in a copyright infringement lawsuit for their (i.e. Levi’s) “Livin’ Large” ad campaign from the early 90s, citing the fact that, if anyone were “Livin’ Large”, it was definitely he, Kyle Flippin’ Blanks, and not some jerks in Silver Tabs or whatever*.
*Denotes probable lie.
**Don’t do this. You’ll look like a fool.
As of Sunday morning*, Blanks has a single and two strikeouts in 4 major league plate appearances — good for a .224 wOBA. But if there were a metric called something like Joy Factor, Blanks would probably have like a gazillion. Enjoy, is all I’m saying.
*He also played Sunday and went 0-for-2 with a BB and K.