Originally written on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 10/28/14
Right now, Gregor Blanco is on his way to his second above-average year as a key (if underrated) component in a championship outfield — “a dream come true” as he puts it. Just two years ago, though, he didn’t get a single major league plate appearance and found himself in Venezuela without a job. There was a moment, though, that sparked the change. A single decision, about a single body part, and Blanco found himself on the road to where he is now. You can see the moment in his numbers, really. In his larger sample early years (2008 and 2010), Blanco was a good defender with patience that added value to his teams. In 2011, he had a .201 batting average across two Triple-A teams and was sliding out of baseball. He’d been hearing about his shortcomings — “this guy can do this better, in Atlanta” and “if he could run the bases better, if he could bunt better,” in Kansas city — and free agency was looming. Then Gregor Blanco decided it was time to get right. He had surgery on his wrist — something in there had been bothering him for a couple years — and he returned home, and to the basics. A lengthy rehab allowed him to “get fast” and “work on all the tools” he always had. And then an MVP season in the Venezuelan leagues showed the Giants that he was worthy of interest. “I found myself again, the player I wanted to be,” said Blanco of that time. Blanco hasn’t been, and won’t be, a power threat in the traditional sense. He’s hit eight home runs his entire career, and even by other measures his power is below average. But, as he puts it, he can still hit doubles, triples and get extra bases. Especially now that he’s not choking up on the bat. Check him out in 2010 on your right. “Before I choked up a lot, because of the injury,” he said, “but not any more now that I have my strength.” Blanco also pointed out he is more aggressive now. It’s quite a change. If all we do is just look at some key numbers before and after his surgery, we can see a sea change in the player’s approach. It’s served him well. Swing% GB/FB ISO K% wRC+ 2008-2010 40.1% 2.07 0.066 18.9% 90 2012-2013 43.7% 1.34 0.102 22.1% 97 Right now, Blanco is showing the lowest walk rate of his career, but he feels he can do better. The balance between aggressiveness and patience is one that he still needs to develop, he agrees. Consistency at the plate is a goal of his, but he feels he can do it since his mantra is to “always learn from mistakes and try to do better.” Even at 29, Gregor Blanco thinks his offense can improve. A huge part of that was a decision once upon a time to finally correct a nagging injury, and get to work being the guy he always thought he was. Now? “I feel much better now, I feel more myself, and I can do the things I want to do,” says the Giant outfielder.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Irving scores career-high 55, hits game winner

FCS star QB considering transferring to Oregon

Gronk on interest in his partying: 'I'm a baller'

Jim Harbaugh looking to flip No. 1 quarterback recruit

Colts' suspension of Richardson voids $3.1 million

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Five players replacing the biggest names in Pac-12 for 2015

Report: Broncos hire Phillips as defensive coordinator

LeBron James misses Cavs-Blazers game due to wrist injury

Iceman: Thompson’s 37-point quarter doesn't break his record

Mayweather visited Pacquiao’s hotel room for private meeting

Seahawks GM: Russell Wilson's contract 'presents challenges'

The all-time best Super Bowl team

Jimbo Fisher's extension could be worth $44 million

Morris twins investigated for possible assault

Padres are bringing back the brown pinstripes

Phil Jackson's old Knicks teams used to deflate balls

David Blatt: There should be more LeBron MVP talk

Richard Sherman, girlfriend expecting son during SB week

WATCH: Marshawn, Gronk play Mortal Kombat with Conan

Armstrong: I’d use PEDs again under same circumstances

Top five free agent quarterbacks

Report: NFL investigators to consult physicist on Deflategate

5 X-factors for Super Bowl XLIX

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The all-time best Super Bowl team

Blatt wants more LeBron MVP talk

Best Super Bowl ads of all-time

5 X-factors for Super Bowl XLIX

Ten worst teams to ever play in a SB

Six MLB teams going all-in on 2015

Patriots' keys to Super Bowl victory

Seahawks' keys to Super Bowl victory

DeflateGate ball could fetch $50K

Doug Baldwin ready for Revis Island

Top storylines for Super Bowl XLIX

Barnes unhappy with NBA over fine

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.