MadFriars Q & A: Kyle Blanks

When you're 6'6" and 275 pounds it stands to reason you get any nickname you want. Kyle Blanks fits that description, and his nickname is 'Big Nasty.' The Padres drafted Blanks last season as a draft and follow and signed him last week. The Padres picked up some major talent in this year's draft, but MadFriars had some questions for their biggest signee (at least physically) in the 2004 draft.

MadFriars:  Outside of the obvious, being 6'6" and 275, is there another reason people call you 'Big Nasty'?

Kyle Blanks:  Not really, no I'm a pretty content person, pretty quiet.  Not really too loud or obnoxious.

MadFriars:  You're power numbers at Yavapai Community College were great, but you also had 23 stolen bases, if you're that big and that fast, why aren't you a middle linebacker?

Kyle Blanks:  I'm just not a football fan.

MadFriars:  With the kind of size are Derrick Lee comparisons accurate?

Kyle Blanks:  I don't know if I'm Derrick Lee caliber, but I like having a solid all around game. 

MadFriars:  How much have you worked with wooden bats?

Kyle Blanks:  My school season was in a wood bat league.  It's so different, you can see it when you look at guys who've swung metal.  With a wood bat you just can't have a long swing.  My college coaches did a great job getting me to work with a short swing, they really get all the credit for it.  Sky Smelter was my coach at Yavapi. 

MadFriars:  Yavapai has a rep for being a good baseball school, but it isn't like a USC or Stanford, where it's a big D1 program, did that help you or hurt you?

Kyle Blanks:  I think it helped a lot being in smaller school.  I like college baseball, don't get me wrong, but it was never my dream to be playing at one of those huge D1 programs, and at Yavapai I got a lot of personalized attention, a lot of one on one time to learn the game, learn my game.

MadFriars:  What's the first thing opposing pitchers are going to learn about you?

Kyle Blanks:  I don't know, I can hit for average, so don't expect to get me out all the time.  I think a lot of the time pitchers look at me and because I'm big they thing I'm either going to hit a home run or strikeout, but being short to the ball really helps me just hit the ball hard.  I'm not, by definition, a power hitter.  I don't hit an extremely high amount of homers, I'm not a .250, 50 homer guy, I'm more like a .300, 20 homer guy.

MadFriars:  You played basketball in high school right, and were getting recruited?

Kyle Blanks:  I was pretty decent in high school, but really I just outsized a lot of people.  A few smaller colleges were looking at me, but I just played because my friends wanted to, I always wanted to play baseball.

MadFriars:  You're a first baseman, have you played anywhere else?  There's some talk that the Padres might move you to the outfield.

Kyle Blanks:  I haven't played out there much, but I think I can do it, I don't think it would be anything out of the ordinary.

MadFriars:  Is that something you'd look forward too?

Kyle Blanks:  It's always fun to try new things.  I like challenges, I look forward to working on things.

MadFriars:  You were the National JuCo player of the year, does that put extra pressure on you coming into pro ball?

Kyle Blanks:  Not really.  To be honest I didn't even know right away that I'd won the award.  I just did what I was capable of, went out, played hard, and has success.

MadFriars:  Were you smiling a little this week during the draft knowing you didn't have to play that waiting game again?

Kyle Blanks:  Yeah, it's a really big relief, it's a pretty pressure packed time for anyone who plays ball. 

MadFriars:  Have you even been following along?

Kyle Blanks:  I track it because a lot of my buddies are eligible.  One of my boys got drafted and I called him and let him know before he knew because I was watching things.  I saw a few people I played against go, one guy, Jesse Hall went to the Rangers in the 16th. 

MadFriars:  Have the Padres told you where to report yet?

Kyle Blanks:  No, I don't really know where I'm going to go, I'm just hoping to have a spot.  I'm ready to go anywhere, I don't think it really matters that much what level I start at.  It's just about getting everything together at that time.  I know I'm not going to start perfectly, there's going to be a period where I'm getting assimilated.  I feel like I could start pretty high if I had to, I think I'm ready.


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