Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 6/21/13
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

Rams owner buys massive 520,000-acre Texas ranch

Cam Newton explains why he did not dive on fumble

George Karl’s agent rips Kings, wants broadcaster reprimanded

WATCH: Popovich has funny reaction to New Hampshire results

Suns vets pull packing peanut prank on rookie Devin Booker

Teammate gives Manning final completion ball from Super Bowl

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Ole Miss Football cited in 13 of 28 department violations by NCAA

Larry Sanders to consider NBA comeback after other interests stabilize

The NCAAB power rankings

SEC begins crying foul over Jim Harbaugh’s spring break plans at Michigan

Marc Gasol reportedly out indefinitely with broken foot

Patriots waive Montee Ball despite never officially re-signing running back

WATCH: Blackhawks coach walks out of press conference

Greg McElroy: Cam Newton 'quit on his team'

Tennis umpires secretly banned over gambling issues

WATCH: Dancing Kentucky fan slides down rail, fails

Clemson LB has great response to NFL draft analyst's criticism

Former Aggies QB Kyle Allen reveals culture problems at Texas A&M

Roy Williams collapses during game vs. BC

Panthers TE Greg Olsen shaves off his playoff beard

Derek Fisher thanks Knicks in statement

Miami Heat to honor Shaq by retiring his number 32

Oakland Raiders release Nate Allen

B.J. Penn announces he will return at UFC 197

Bring back the Dunk Contest

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 NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker