Originally written on Baseball Hot Corner  |  Last updated 6/18/13
The hottest hitter on the hottest team in the National League was headed to the minors earlier this month.  The San Diego Padres had optioned Kyle Blanks to Triple-A Tuscon on June 5 to make room for Cameron Maybin’s return from the disabled list, but called him right back when Yonder Alonso hit the DL.  Beset by injuries himself over the past three seasons, Blanks has made the most of the opportunity, hitting .316/.369/.633 so far in June with five home runs, including a game-winning three-run blast against the division-leading Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday. Drafted as an 18-year-old in 2004, the imposing 6’6” Blanks soared through the minor leagues as a top 1B/OF prospect who could hit for power and average.  First arriving in San Diego in 2009, he hit .250/.355/.514 with 10 home runs in 148 at bats before a bout of plantar fasciitis ended his season in late August.  Thus began a frustrating pattern of injury that stalled his progress. Batting cleanup for the Padres at the start ...
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