Kyle Blanks
Kyle Blanks
33-Year-Old First Baseman1B
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2020 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Kyle Blanks in 2020. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Re-signed with the Giants on a minor league contract in October of 2016.
Cut loose by Giants
1BFree Agent  
May 26, 2017
Blanks was released by the Giants on Friday, Alec Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.
The oft-injured first baseman batted just .232 in 34 games with Triple-A Sacramento, so the Giants opted to part ways with him to make room for other higher-upside prospects. Blanks has a good amount of big-league experience to his name, but his injury history could deter any potential suitors in free agency.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Kyle Blanks
DFS Baseball 101: Finding Value in the Nuances of Baseball
March 22, 2016
Michael Rathburn breaks down a few key situations for DFS players to take advantage of, including American League pitchers starting in National League parks.
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September 3, 2015
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Thursday Lineup Card: Middle Infield Help In Flores
August 26, 2015
Saturday Lineup Card: Not Parking Parker
August 7, 2015
Chris Benzine discusses why Kyle Parker's recall and subsequent use could be worth a look, plus more in Saturday's lineup card.
Fantasy 101: Winning Tournaments with Home Runs
August 4, 2015
Winning tournaments on FanDuel requires a lot of things to go right, and it's imperative to maximize the number of home-run hitters on your squad.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
Blanks had trouble staying on the field for a second straight season, logging just 71 at-bats due to continued issues with his Achilles tendons. He was effective against left-handed pitching, continuing a career-long trend, and this is presumably why the Giants inked him to a minor league deal during the offseason. September surgery on both Achilles tendons clouds his future for the beginning on 2016, though he stands an outside chance of eventually working into a short-end platoon role at first base alongside Brandon Belt.
The A's traded for Blanks in May with the idea to use him as the right-handed side of a platoon with Brandon Moss. Blanks was effective early on in the role, putting up a .935 OPS in his first 45 at-bats, but he suffered a calf strain that lingered, and he was eventually diagnosed with an Achilles injury. After multiple setbacks in rehab, Blanks was finally placed on the 60-day DL in August, ending his season. Blanks cannot seem to stay healthy, and he has never been on the field enough to exceed 280 at-bats in any major league season. With plenty of raw power, Blanks flashed his potential during a 24-home run campaign back in 2007 that made him a hot prospect, but at this point of his career, that sheen has faded as he's now approaching journeyman status. He'll compete for a roster spot with the Rangers during spring training after signing a minor league deal with Texas in December.
A stint at Triple-A Tucson to kick off the year didn't last long, as Blanks was called up in mid-April and immediately made his presence felt by taking Clayton Kershaw deep. Until a broken hand befell Yonder Alonso in early June, Blanks picked up only the occasional starting nod but was soon the everyday starting first baseman, which he utilized to show off his prodigious power. During a 12-game stretch, he hammered five home runs, but soon, a sore heel developed into Achilles tendinitis, resulting in nearly two months spent on the DL. His September splits (.175/.242/.193 with a 5:24 BB:K ratio in 57 at-bats) reflect a recovering body and historical contact rates, but one silver lining of his season was bucking a trend by consistently hitting left-handed pitching, producing a .282/.373/.456 slash line in 118 plate appearances versus southpaws. No matter, Blanks enters 2014 as depth in the corner outfield and at first, holding down his potential.
Unfortunately, 2012 was a lost season for Blanks, who injured the labrum in his left shoulder so badly that he needed surgery to fix it in late April. Before the injury, he got in just six plate appearances, which is impossible to read anything into. In 2011, he spent time in Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A Tucson, before moving on the majors. One thing that has become obvious from the time he has spent in the majors is that he has serious issues making contact, but when he does, he has the power to drive the ball out of any park. That power may take some time to resurface, given the nature of his shoulder surgery, if it ever does. When he recovers from his shoulder woes, it's likely the team uses him in a platoon as he struggles against left-handed pitching (.198/.305/.347).
With the help of a strong walk rate, Blanks has traditionally posted a high OBP (>.380) and has displayed great power potential, however, he has had his difficulty with the adjustments to major league pitching. If he can reduce his 31.5 percent strikeout rate, maintain his walk rate and improve on his .195 average against southpaws, Blanks could eventually work his way into a platoon situation despite a murky outlook for playing time heading into spring training following the Padres' offseason additions to the outfield mix.
The 6-foot-6, 270-pound Blanks played only in April and into part of May before an elbow injury sidelined him last season. The injury was serious enough that he needed Tommy John surgery to correct it. Prior to 2010, he had shown an ability to hit for power and average in the minors. Surprisingly athletic, he played left field in the past, but the surgery will likely sap his arm strength and limit him to first-base duties. His health status going into spring training will be tenuous, and it's likely that he won't be ready for action on Opening Day. Once healthy, he's going to have to cut down on his strikeout rate, if he hopes to stick at the major league level.
Blanks' surprising dexterity in the left field was nice, but the plantar fascitis that ended his season is a serious concern for a player of his size, emphasizing the need for the Padres to get him to first base. Of perhaps greater concern was the degradation of his strikeout rate at Triple-A and in the majors. In the short term, Blanks brings too much risk to be a comfortable play; in the long term, he will be a Ryan Howard-caliber first baseman.
Despite backing up his imposing physique with a solid season at Double-A San Antonio, Blanks is a bit under the prospect radar in part because of a subpar stint in the Arizona Fall League. He was sent to the AFL to work on his pitch recognition and if he can make strides in this area, he could creep up the prospect ladder quickly. For now, expect him to begin the year at Triple-A Portland and be sure to monitor his progress.
At 6-6, 281, Blanks is an impressive physical specimen. He hit .301/.380/.540 in 2007 at High-A Lake Elsinore, including 24 homers and 100 RBI. Like a lot of power hitters, he strikes out frequently (98 times in 465 at-bats last year), however, Blanks still manages to hit for average and can hit the gaps in addition to slamming the ball over the fence. He should face the Double-A test in 2008.
Blanks has been described as a taller Cecil Fielder in better shape: he stands 6-6 and weighs 290 lbs. Not surprisingly, Blanks can hit for power, but also strikes out a lot. Despite this, his .292 average wasn't bad. Blanks will probably begin 2007 with High-A Lake Elsinore. He was not a highly-regarded draft pick (42nd round in 2004) and is a long way from the majors.
More Fantasy News
Returns to Giants on minor league deal
1BSan Francisco Giants  
October 28, 2016
Blanks (Achilles) re-signed with the Giants on a minor league contract Friday, Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports.
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1BSan Francisco Giants  
March 17, 2016
Blanks was scratched from Thursday's spring training game with a right Achilles injury, Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reports.
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Kyle Blanks: Blasts second home run of the spring
1BSan Francisco Giants  
March 8, 2016
Blanks (Achilles) smacked his second home run of the spring against the White Sox on Monday.
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1BSan Francisco Giants  
November 17, 2015
Blanks (Achilles) has agreed to a minor league contract with the Giants, pending a physical, Andrew Baggarly of the Bay Area News Group reports.
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1BFree Agent  
October 27, 2015
Blanks has elected free agency, SB Nation's Chris Cotillo reports.
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