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

Celtics looking to make LeBron's life difficult in playoff series

WATCH: Luke Rockhold chokes out Lyoto Machida

WATCH: Masai Ujiri fires up Raptors fans with expletive

Andre Johnson: Signing with Colts not about revenge

Pete Rose joining FOX as baseball analyst

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Josh Hamilton filed for divorce around time of relapse

Isaiah Thomas once peed himself to avoid subbing out

Report: ESPN employees want Britt McHenry fired

WATCH: Raptors fans shower Paul Pierce with vulgar taunts

Report: Vikings want first-rounder, starting CB for Peterson

Jarret Stoll arrested for possession of drugs

Report: Todd Gurley's knee checks out well in evaluation

WATCH: All 286 3-pointers Steph Curry made this season

WATCH: Devan Dubnyk makes great save while leaving net

Sabres GM not happy about losing draft lottery

Yordano Ventura ejected for plunking Brett Lawrie

Five early takeaways from the 2015 MLB season

WATCH: Cubs fan catches foul ball in beer cup, chugs it

WATCH: Cardale Jones throws ball 74 yards during contest

Shaka Smart was quite popular at the Texas spring game

Ohio State sets spring game attendance record

WATCH: Bubba Watson raps on Christian rap track

WATCH: Jags mascot wins closest to pin at Sawgrass

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

Josh Hamilton filed for divorce from wife

Report: McHenry's coworkers want her fired

WATCH: Raptors fans taunt Paul Pierce

Five things to watch in NBA Playoffs

Jarret Stoll busted for drugs

CJ Wilson: Hamilton is 'ready to go'

Leaked Clippers jersey redesigns

Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase preview

Home runs ruined our ability to appreciate production

Why we love the NFL draft

The "worst" player on each NBA playoff team

Jim Harbaugh showed up at Ultimate Frisbee practice

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.