What stands 6 feet 6 inches tall, weighs 275 pounds, and can probably hit a whiffle ball 500+ feet?
Adam Dunn is probably the first name that comes to mind, but if you dig deep enough you just may find the next Adam Dunn. That prospect is Kyle Blanks…
Comparing Kyle Blanks and Adam Dunn at this point in their careers is like comparing a young caterpillar in the larva stage to a gorgeous, mature butterfly. Blanks (Caterpillar), being a young 21 year old San Diego Padre prospect who’s not afraid of crowding the plate (50 HBP in 1300 AB), and sports a .498 SLG %. Dunn (Butterfly), crushes anything near the strike zone, isn’t afraid of seeing a couple pitches if it means a free pass to first base, and is approaching “savvy vet” status as he plays his 8th season in the Major league. Both players have obvious strengths of hitting the ball a long way, both players are deceptively speedy (or smart) on the base paths, and the near identical physical frame makes these two an easy comparison.
The similarities are easy to spot, but where do these two players differ? 1) Dunn swings the Louisville Slugger from the left side, Blanks is a righty. 2) Dunn plays in a notorious hitter-friendly ballpark, Blanks will being playing his home games at PETCO, a notorious pitcher-friendly ballpark. 3) Blanks has a great batters eye, walking 9.8% but that still doesn’t compare to Adam Dunn’s Minor League 15.6% BB percent. Walking anywhere may be a problem for Blanks if he can’t control his weight issues, but it appears that he’s headed in the right direction physically over the past season after losing 15-20 pounds. Let’s compare how Blanks’ and Dunns’ careers both started…
Adam Dunn’s Minor League Career:
1208 AB, .304/.425/.525, 263 R 63 HR 220 RBI 60 SB
Kyle Blanks Minor League Career (through 08/06/08):
1300 AB, .301/.389/.498, 222 R 53 HR 253 RBI 20 SB
Conclusion: The stats: eerily similar, the body type: eerily similar, the weight issues: possible concern, the home ballpark: doesn’t help. There were already trade rumors swirling around this season, so if a trade were to happen in the future then the last problem may not ever come into play. I would not be surprised to see a 30 HR Rookie season out of this slugger next year if he’s given the chance to play every day. The future looks very bright for this budding All-Star.
MLB ETA: September 2008 or Early 2009
2009 Projection: .255 — 70 R — 28 HR — 78 RBI — 6 SB
Career Projection: 11 Seasons .254 — 743 R — 301 HR — 889 RBI — 38 SB