Padres Prospect Interview: Kyle Blanks

San Diego Padres' prospect Kyle Blanks has been on a tear since beginning his tenure with the Peoria Padres of the Arizona Rookie League. Gigantor has cooled of late and talks about his struggles and getting back on track.

The slugging first baseman is hitting .320 with seven homers and 22 RBI's through 21 games. He is, however, just one for his last 16.

How has playing Arizona been, in front of the sparse crowd?

Kyle Blanks: It has been pretty good so far. It is hot here. The baseball is good. Everyone is real nice and you couldn't ask for much more.

What has been the key to your early season success and how do you fight the down times where you are not hitting as well?

Kyle Blanks: I guess just hitting the ball where it is pitched and making sure I get good pitches to do it. It has tailed off lately so I will have to get back to doing that more consistently.

Have you noticed that you are seeing more junk than when you first began play in the league and is it being more selective now?

Kyle Blanks: I have been seeing quite a few more breaking balls and off-speed pitches rather than fastballs. It is a little bit of an adjustment.

One game I was walked four times and that was the first that has ever happened to me in my life I can honestly say. Any time you can get on base it helps.

Have you been surprised by anyone on your team or anyone in the league and how good they are?

Kyle Blanks: No one has exceeded my expectations. I came here expecting everyone to be a step above the rest considering they are playing professional ball. Everyone has played to the level I thought they would. No one is bad here.

You are slamming the ball against lefties but have struggled some against righties. What is the difference between the two?

Kyle Blanks: We have not seen many lefties but it is still easier to hit off a lefty – breaking balls and things like that. It is easier hitting a breaking ball coming into you rather than going away.

What kind of adjustments are you making at the plate to stay aggressive and be the type of hitter we saw early in the year?

Kyle Blanks: I am just trying to stay consistent and not trying to do too much, which I think has been my problem lately. I need to get back to doing what I am capable of which is putting the ball in play and getting on base.

Your coaches at Yavapai have said you have some speed for a big man but you were caught stealing in your first attempt. What happened?

Kyle Blanks: That was a very bad play by me. I should have slid but I didn't. I would have been safe. I thought a guy got walked, I would have had the base. That made me mad because I would have had one.

Talk about your defense. Does the ball seem to be arriving a little quicker now than when you were playing ball in junior college?

Kyle Blanks: I am trying to get everything that goes to me. Sometimes the ball comes a little quicker but as long as you stay in front of it, it is not a big deal. Some people do sting it a little harder.

Is it tough playing games at 10:30 AM?

Kyle Blanks: We do play early but we have the whole rest of the day to rest. Getting up early is a little different but you get adjusted to it.

There has been talk by the Padres' brass about keeping you at Peoria the whole year. Do you feel like you should be promoted if you go on another tear and what is your feeling about staying in Arizona through the year?

Kyle Blanks: I can't really say that I feel like I should be (promoted). It is not my say. I feel like I have done well and I feel like I could play at another level. In all honesty, I would rather develop – do more of the developmental thing than shoot up and not do so well and have to go back and forth (between leagues).

Stats compiled though Thursday July 21, 2005.

Have a question about a prospect in the San Diego Padres' system. Send Denis an email at Some questions will be forwarded and answered on air during weekly segment on the flagship station for San Diego Padres' baseball, The Mighty 1090. The show airs each Friday at 10:35 AM PST with Brian Wilson and Ernie Martinez.

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