Blanks views season as a success

Kyle Blanks was back in action at the Padres Instructional League this fall after an infection in his leg sidelined him for the playoff stretch drive in Fort Wayne. We caught up with Blanks to discuss his season, finding his rhythm in Instructs and what is on the horizon.

Talk about the infection in the leg and how it feels now.

Kyle Blanks: The leg feels fine. It is pretty much all the way healed. It is a matter now of getting all the small motor functions in my ankle and leg back to tip-top shape. It is pretty close.

How tough was it mentally for you when you are rolling, hitting .290 and then this happens?

Kyle Blanks: It was real tough towards the end to sit and watch the team I played for make the playoffs, play in the playoffs, and just sit there pretty much helpless – if we are in trouble, can't help. It was tough to just be there all together mentally and physically. But, we made it through and it was great to see everyone have success.

When you look back on your season personally, how do you view it?

Kyle Blanks: I view it as pretty successful. I hit right around my expectation. I wanted to hit right around .300. I started to get back into it right around the time I got hurt. I was hitting very well, started to pick up a few things and saw the ball very well. Right now, it is a matter of getting back to that. I think I did fairly well.

Going back to spring training, the expectations weren't necessarily that you would go out to Fort Wayne but it speaks to a solid spring training. When you got that call as a young player, what was the feeling?

Kyle Blanks: That was my goal all along. I came into spring training in good shape and ready to make the Fort Wayne squad. I was hoping to make that jump and knew I could handle it. It was a matter of getting there, doing it, and performing.

Was there any pressure when you did get out there to perform and almost had to settle down?

Kyle Blanks: Anyone can say they are not putting pressure on themselves and everyone does. In a sense I did put pressure on myself to do well. I thought I did pretty well and basically just followed through with the expectations I put on myself.

Do you have things that you would like to work on in the Instructional League besides what the coaching staff may have for you?

Kyle Blanks: I really just want to get back to the hitting shape I was midseason. Right now I am pretty far away from that. I was out for two months so I am getting back into that good hitting shape where I see the ball well, use good plate discipline and I am trying to work on all those aspects of hitting.

At the same time, you are going to have some time off after this so you will eventually have to reintroduce yourself to the bat again and being where you want to be. So, is it more to develop those good habits you can take moving forward?

Kyle Blanks: Yes, if I can do the things – by the end of this Instructional League if I get to the point where I think I should be it is a lot easier to remember those good things from the end and staying in those habits. It helps a lot in the off-season. If I can get to that I will do pretty well heading into the off-season.

Looking back again, do you feel there is one thing you could improve upon, whether that be getting quicker, stronger, I don't know?

Kyle Blanks: I would like to get in better overall shape. Get faster, quicker, more agile and stronger. Everything that would go into making myself a better athlete. I want to keep all my senses sharp. Keep my quickness with the bat the same, maybe improve on it. Things of that nature.

There has always been some thought, and obviously you are a big guy, to the weight factor and you having to keep an eye on it. Is there much stock in that?

Kyle Blanks: During the season it is tough to keep it under control, eating late and eating bad food. As long as I can stay comfortable in the season and prepare myself in better shape during the off-season to allow for a little bit of physical breakdown, because that will happen, I think I will be all right. It is a matter of staying at a comfortable weight through the off-season.

What are you looking for through the off-season and beyond?

Kyle Blanks: Just to stay in good physical form. I want to become a lot better athlete.

Where do you feel you are fielding-wise?

Kyle Blanks: Right now, I still need to improve. I feel pretty good around the base and am a lot more comfortable than when I first started practicing. I am making strides and it is a matter of putting it all together everyday.

I saw you talking to a bunch of different coaches out in Arizona. How can each on of these guys help you with so many different opinions?

Kyle Blanks: It is a matter of pulling in information. Keep your ears open and listen to everything everyone has to say. If you can take a lot of the familiar things from everyone and there are a lot of similar things that everyone is saying than obviously it is something that can work. Be open to try everything but always want to stay comfortable.

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