Originally posted on PRO Rumors  |  Last updated 11/25/11
Center fielder Gregor Blanco signed with the San Francisco Giants last week (via CSNBayArea), and as a Venezuelan and a huge Blanco fan I couldn't help, but to think if he could be the lead off hitter the Giants are looking for. Even though Blanco has only played three years in the Majors, and last season he hit .201/.350/.327 in 199 AB's for the Royals' and Nationals' Triple-A team. I believe he has the tools to become a solid lead off hitter for a Major League team. This year in Venezuela Blanco is hitting .336/.486/.500 with 2 HR's, 8 doubles, 2 triples, 2 HR's and 13 RBI's in 110 AB's as a lead off hitter for Tiburones de la Guaira. In 2009, Blanco won the Final Series MVP in the Venezuelan Winter League. He also walked 30 times and stole 10 bases in 12 attempts. In my opinion his offensive downsides could be his strikeout rate (28 this season), the fact that he strikes out looking way too much, and his lack of power. But besides that, he is an outstanding lead off hitter, he would make every pitcher work, and has a good approach in most of his AB's. To be honest, I believe he is the best lead off hitter in the Venezuelan Winter League, and he is, definitely, one of the central pieces of his team Tiburones de la Guaira. Defensively, Blanco has a career .972 fielding % in nine Minor League Seasons. In Venezuela he has shown he's a great defender, probably one of the best center fielders in the league. Besides his fielding capabilities, Blanco has shown a good range and a good arm too. Unless the Giants end up signing Jose Reyes or Jimmy Rollins, I believe they should give Blanco a serious chance to become the team's new lead off hitter. He would not only help in the outfield, but his OBP (career .367 in nine Minor League seasons and career .358 in three Major League seasons), and stealing abilities would give the Giants a chance to improve their run average per game. So if you ask me, Vote for Blanco as the new Giants lead off hitter!, but that's just me. As I said, I'm a huge Blanco fan. Image by J. Chris Vaughan under the Creative Commons License.
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