Blanks making most of opportunities

PEORIA, AZ-- Kyle Blanks has earned a golden opportunity with the San Diego Padres, as Adrian Gonzalez plays in the World Baseball Classic. It is one that the hulking first baseman doesn't plan on squandering.

You have a chance to receive extended playing time with Adrian Gonzalez in Mexico – how does that benefit you?

Kyle Blanks: Just getting ABs in – getting an opportunity to see more of the pitching. Last year I didn't hit much and it's definitely a good chance just to see it and become acclimated to it.

You were more successful off right-handed pitching than left-handed last season. Was there any reason why?

Kyle Blanks: Just more of a fan of facing righties!

You had a slow second half in 2007 and a very good second half in 2008. What changed in your preparation to allow for such a strong finish last year?

Kyle Blanks: I guess I just found something more that worked for a little longer and was able to stick with it for the whole season.

Talk about the Arizona Fall League experience.

Kyle Blanks: It was a different experience for me – [it's a chance to] get worked out, get playing, good experience, good competition. Overall, I got to see high-caliber play every day, and that was definitely a good experience.

One thing the coaches have said is that you may not even realize how strong you are. As a high average hitter, do you ever consider sacrificing some of that for more power?

Kyle Blanks: I've heard it definitely. I would definitely like to do both – it's one of those things where you'd rather be more of a complete hitter and do everything, so that's something I'm trying to work on.

Given your power and hitting ability, do you believe your walk totals should also increase in the coming year and how do you make that happen without taking away the aggressiveness?

Kyle Blanks: I think it may. You know, last year I was more patient than the year before, and hopefully I'll keep doing that.

What would be your thoughts on moving to the outfield if the Padres came and asked that of you?

Kyle Blanks: It's just another opportunity and another position and I would more than welcome the opportunity.

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