Cincinnati Reds #17 Prospect: Alex Blandino Doug Gray December 4, 2017 16 Comments April of 2017 marked the third year in a row in which Alex Blandino would find himself in Double-A Pensacola. The previous two times he had struggled to hit for the Blue Wahoos. Things were more of the same in the first month of the season for Blandino as he hit just .182/.357/.236 during the month. He walked as often as he struck out, but the hits simply didn’t come. On April 12th he went 3-4 with 2 doubles. It was the only game during the month that included more than one hit. It also accounted for two of his three extra-base hits during the entire month. The struggles carried over into the early part of May. Over the first eight games, Alex Blandino went just 5-22 (.227). The infielder finally started showing signs of life in the second week of May, hitting .321/.472/.607. He would, however, slump from the 18th through the 25th before rebounding in a big way. To finish out the month he hit .400 with two doubles and two home runs in the final five games. While there was inconsistencies in the month, May saw Blandino hit .261/.383/.477 with 13 extra-base hits. The strong end to May didn’t quite carry into June. Alex Blandino went 0-5 in the first two games played, but he picked things up quickly after that. From June 4th through the 18th the Blue Wahoos infielder hit .367 and slugged .735 with nine doubles and three home runs. He was promoted to Triple-A after a double header on the 18th. He would play in his first game with Triple-A Louisville on the 23rd. Over the final week of the month with his new team, Blandino hit .350 with more walks than strikeouts. He would finish June hitting .338/.417/.608 with 14 extra-base hits. July began with a big slump for Alex Blandino. In the first two weeks of the month he played in eight games, but had just one hit, going 1-24 (.042). Things turned around quickly in the second half of the month. Over the final 15 games he would only go hitless in two of the games, hitting .347/.439/.633 the rest of the way. The slump held down his overall line on the month with a .247/.353/.438 line. He continued to show a strong on-base percentage despite the lower average on the month. August got out to a solid start for Alex Blandino as he went 7-21 over the first eight days of the month. He didn’t play much over the next four days though, starting just once and pinch hitting three other times – going 0-6 in the stretch. When he returned to the everyday lineup he picked things up, hitting .333/.467/.667 over the next week. A mini-slump followed as the infielder went 0-10 through the next three games. Blandino rebounded well over the final two weeks of the season, hitting .295 the rest of the way with more walks than strikeouts. In the final five weeks he would hit .272/.392/.447 for Louisville, walking three more times than he would strikeout. For all 2017 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason). Alex Blandino Spray Chart Alex Blandino Scouting Report Hitting | Alex Blandino can and does use the entire field, which is good. Despite that, though, he’s struggled to hit for average for a while now. His hit rates out as below-average. Power | His power grades out as about average, with 15-ish home runs in a full season being in the area of expectation. Running | Blandino shows off average to slightly above-average speed. Arm | He’s got an above-average arm that will play anywhere on the infield. Defense | He’s an average defender overall, but where he’s at changes how he rates out comparatively. He’s good at second and solid at third base. But, he’s below-average at shortstop because the range just doesn’t stack up to everyday shortstops. Nothing really jumps out at you with Alex Blandino, but he’s solid across the board when it comes to his tools. At the plate there’s enough pop in his bat, and he makes contact. He’s also got a good understanding of the strikezone and it carries over into his strikeout-to-walk ratio. Defensively his best position is second base, but he can handle third base just fine. He’s stretched at shortstop, but could be a solid back up at the position in the Majors as long as it’s not an everyday job. He’s athletic enough that he could probably handle the two corner outfield spots if given time to gets reps there. His bat, however, profiles best at second base – which is probably the spot where he’s most capable of being a starter. 16 Responses CP December 4, 2017 Looking at Alex’s profile just makes me feel the hole at SS all the more. For Cozarts sake I hope he finds a good fit that will pay him handsomely, but for the Reds sake I hope the market drops out at the bottom and they can resign him to a reasonable 2 year deal with a 3rd year option. There just does not seem to be anyone nearly as close to what he provided that will be ready in the next 2 or so years. Reply redleggingfordayz December 4, 2017 Doug, I saw a tweet a few days ago with the 2014 draft board. It had Alex listed as a SS when drafted, was just curious if perhaps he filled out more and lost some speed, or if his defense was always suspect at the position? I know this happens pretty often with SS’s in particular just because of how demanding the position is defensively. Reply Doug Gray December 4, 2017 Most expected him to move to second or third. Reply Norwood Nate December 4, 2017 Reds resigned Crockett to a minor league deal. Seems like once again (to no one’s surprise), DW knows way more about what he’s doing that I do. haha I didn’t understand it at the time, but like Doug said in his post, maybe it was to get an exclusive negotiating window. Seems like that did the trick and the Reds added another piece to compete for the bullpen without tying up a 40-man spot. Kudos to the FO on pulling off a shrewd move. Reply Gaffer December 4, 2017 “Nothing stands out” is kinda misleading as his OBP (walks) definitely stands out. If this guy hits .280 his OBP would be 80-90 points above BHam and if he hit .300 maybe he is nearly Votto territory. Reply CP December 4, 2017 Nothing about his past performance to think he would ever come anywhere close to .300 though. But I do agree that his OBP is a skill of his that stands out. Reply Doug Gray December 4, 2017 You cut off that sentence, which is important. I was referring to his tools, and on-base percentage/walking, isn’t a tool. But, I’d be very, very surprised if he carried a 90-100 point OBP over AVG advantage in the big leagues. I’d also be very, very surprised if he hit .280+. Reply Gaffer December 4, 2017 Plate discipline, it should be considered part of the hit tool. I get so tired of hearing about 5 tool players, who have no hit tool. Many of these guys have no consistency in MLB because they have no plate discipline. OBP is a pretty decent measure of this, and probably the best predictor of being a solid MLB player. BHam is an example, what good are the other tools without that one? Yes, if Blandino can’t hit .280 then he won’t be a starter. Doug Gray December 5, 2017 Plate discipline kind of comes into play with the hit tool, but not exclusively. I think that it should be it’s own tool, a 6th tool. It helps the hit tool, but so does power. Guys can’t turn home runs into outs. Hitting the ball harder helps you hit for a higher average – and that’s power, not hit. Likewise, being able to determine quality pitches to hit helps the hit tool itself. But, it’s not exclusive to the hit tool. If Blandino can hit .270, he’s probably starter quality. Whether that happens, or he’ll ever be a starter if he can is a different story. He’s fighting an uphill battle at second base in this organization. Hamilton is a bad example. He’s only got one tool – speed. But, it helps everything else play up. He can’t hit, but if he were just fast instead of the fastest, he REALLY couldn’t hit. Likewise, power – he’d lose bases throughout the year when he stretches singles into doubles and a few doubles into triples that only he and a few other players can. He can’t hit for power, but he’s lose slugging without that speed. Defense is elite, but with just merely real good speed he’d take another step backwards there, too. Baserunning – same thing. I think a better example could be Jose Peraza. He’s actually a guy with a real good hit tool who struggles to use it because of the plate discipline issues. There’s enough there for moderate power, too, but he’s often unable to use it because he’s unbalanced because he’s either guessing wrong on the pitch or reacted too late – but he’s good enough that he can still make contact, it’s just not good contact. If Peraza can correct the issue – and we’ve seen it in spurts, while no one will ever confuse him with Jose Reyes (probably), he could actually hit a little bit. Ryan December 4, 2017 Why do you think Blandino is a below average hitter? It seems like with his all fields approach, low strikeout rate, and average power, he should be producing hits. What gives? Reply Doug Gray December 4, 2017 He’s a career .262 minor league hitter, so let’s start there. He’s struggled to show that he’s much of a hitter for average throughout his career. While he uses the entire field, and that does help, he doesn’t do it overly effective. While you generally like the profile of guys that use the entire field and make contact for a good hit tool, that doesn’t always just lead to a good hit tool. Reply Wes December 4, 2017 I think blandino has all the makings of a late bloomer. Reds draft decent and he was given tons of props as someone who was going to be in majors sooner than later. Seem to been coming of late and hope he starts well. Like to see him get a chance to play in cincy before he ends up on another team. Reply Gaffer December 4, 2017 I agree, i think you can overlook some of his low averages. I bet he will be better than Peraza. He probably is not a league average second baseman, but I see him as a solid 300 AB infielder. Reply Hingle McCringleberry December 6, 2017 I agree Wes. I’ve been high on this kid since they drafted him. Its funny when other commenters talk about “will he hit ? ” as if we’ve had some bombers coming off the bench lately. We have had a history with weak benches consisting of older over the hill players or players that don’t have a history of hitting. I’d say bring up these players who fit the profile of a mlb utility player and maybe a future starter or two. I’d like to have a 4 to 5 young hungry players on the bench. This team needs that. Plus it may help with trades as well. Let teams see these players. That means going with 6 or 7 relievers. Reply The Duke December 5, 2017 Given the Reds current 40 man roster, he seems in line to be a primary bench option for the Reds going into 2018. Who else do we have that can back up SS for short stretches? That he can also back up 2B and 3B is nice too. I won’t be shocked if we sign someone like the Patrick Kivlehans of the world to back up Peraza, but for the moment, it looks like Blandino and Herrera are the backup infielders. Reply William Kubas December 5, 2017 Most comments are accurate about former Stanford Cardinal Alex Blandino. Blandino did start all games at third base for Stanford in 2013 – 2014. In the most part, I have been disappointed with the progress of Blandino in the Reds minor league system except Blandino is now on the 40 man roster and the Reds have moved on from Vincej and Dixon. Blandino has no major league at bats. Will he hit or walk in his initial major league at bats, only time will tell. His defensive is most accurate at the AAA level at second base, making one error in 115 chances. GO STANFORD CARDINAL BASEBALL Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.