- Full name Grégor Miguel Blanco
- Born 12/24/1983 in Caracas, Venezuela
- Profile Ht.: 5'10" / Wt.: 187 / Bats: L / Throws: L
- School Colegio Ignacio Martín Burk
- Debut 03/30/2008
Organization Prospect Rankings
The Braves had Blanco repeat high Class A in 2004, when he posted numbers that mirrored those from his first season at Myrtle Beach. Nevertheless, he showed steady progress in all phases of his game. He put together a solid if unspectacular year at the plate while managers rated him the best defensive outfielder in the Carolina League. Blanco has outstanding athletic ability, which shows up best with his outstanding play in center field. He has plus speed and a strong arm. He has shortened his swing during the past two years in order to help him get on base and put his legs to work. He also continues to add strength and more pop at the plate. Blanco has a reputation as a slow starter, and didn't shake it by hitting just .228 last April. He needs to develop more overall consistency in his game, especially making more contact. Reversing his trend of declining walk totals also would let him use his speed more often. Blanco's next challenge will come in Double-A.
Myrtle Beach manager Randy Ingle was more pleased with Blanco's progress last year than that of anyone else on his team. He made major strides in his maturity, competitiveness and work habits to continue his emergence as one of the top outfielders in the system. For the second straight year, Blanco struggled to open the season, and he was hitting .209 in early May. He shortened his swing and did a better job of employing his plus speed to get on base. Blanco also proved he had gotten stronger by hitting .304 in August after tiring noticeably down the stretch in 2002. With better control of the strike zone, Blanco could become a prototypical leadoff hitter. His center-field defense is above average and his arm is easily strong for the position. The Braves hope he continues his recent advances this season in Double-A.
Blanco opened eyes throughout the organization with a strong showing during instructional league in 2001 before continuing to impress in low Class A in 2002, his first season in the United States. The Venezuela native struggled early as an 18-year-old in the South Atlantic League, hitting .219 through May 23. He then heated up and improved to a season-best .282 in late July before tiring over the final month. Blanco's plus speed and knack for getting on base make him a potential leadoff man. He hit into just two double plays last year and tied Adam Stern for the organization lead in stolen bases. Blanco hits southpaws and righthanders equally well and showed surprising power at times. Still, he tends to swing for the fences more than he should instead of perfecting the small-ball aspects of the game, particularly bunting. A good outfielder with an above-average arm, Blanco's biggest need is to mature. Some SAL managers didn't like the way he carried himself last year, but the Braves believe he'll grow up as he gets older and continues to adjust to the United States. He'll play in high Class A this year.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Defensive Outfielder in the Atlanta Braves in 2006
- Rated Fastest Baserunner in the Atlanta Braves in 2005
- Rated Best Defensive Outfielder in the Carolina League in 2004
- Rated Fastest Baserunner in the Atlanta Braves in 2004