Wednesday, October 24, 2012

How the Giants came to acquire Gregor Blanco

Baseball America has an excellent column up on how the Tigers and Giants built their championship teams. It is full of interesting tidbits but the one that really jumped out at me was Gregor Blanco.
Former Giants catcher Brian Johnson was the pro scout who covered the upper levels of the Nats system in 2011 and naturally had Bryce Harper at the top of his pref list. But he had Blanco next.
"Our scouts liked him and thought he could compete for a starting role," Shelley said. "We saw a guy with a .360 career OBP, who could defend up the middle, who could run and swing the bat. We also had followed him in Venezuela in winter ball, and (big league hitting coach) Hensley Meulens and our minor league infield rover, Jose Alguacil, helped recruit him to sign with us.
"We also saw that he hadn't had much luck; his average on balls in play was low, and we thought that played a part in his low average last year. Even when he didn't hit, he still had a .350 OBP. So he was at the top of our list last offseason. There's no question it was a group effort with a lot of people involved in acquiring him."

Blanco has made the Giants look good, hitting .244/.333/.344 during the regular season, when he ranked second on the club with 26 steals. He posted a .364 OBP through the first two rounds of playoffs.
There is so much talk about the Giants being behind the times but I really think that perspective is outdated. The Giants do well in mixing a bit of everything into their player acquisition process and it seems to find many players that other teams have left for dead.

Hat Tip to Giants Nirvana who tweeted out the link on Twitter.

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