May
06

2014 Draft: Alex Blandino

By

Alex Blandino | 3B

Background
Blandino is a Bay Area kid from Palo Alto. He did not sign with the Athletics as a 38th round pick in the 2011 draft and instead followed through on his commitment to Stanford, where he hit .280/.352/.484 with 15 homers in 93 games as a freshman and sophomore. Blandino’s hit .289/.386/.470 with six homeruns and a 20/19 K/BB in 40 games this spring.

Scouting Report
Listed at 6-foot-0 and 190 lbs., Blandino stands out because he has an excellent approach at the plate and an incredibly quick and balanced right-handed swing. The relatively modest performance these last three years belies his offensive potential, which has been hampered by Stanford’s one size fits all offensive approach. (They teach everyone to shorten up and shoot the ball the other way at all times, ignoring a hitter’s strengths.) Blandino squares the ball up consistent and makes hard contact, so there is power in there if a team can get the Stanford out of his swing. Some get through it (Jason Castro, Jed Lowrie), some don’t (Cord Phelps, Michael Taylor). Blandino has a strong arm and good footwork at the hot corner, though there are rumblings he might wind up at second base. Either way, whichever team drafts him will take him for his bat.

Background
In their latest rankings, Keith Law (subs. req’d ) and MLB.com ranked Blandino as the 29th and 78th best prospect in the draft class, respectively. He did not make Baseball America‘s most recent top 50. This draft is very light on college bats yet Blandino could go as high as the top 15 picks or as low as the late second round. Stanford hitters tend to fall in the draft because teams are wary of the bad habits formed — Austin Wilson went 49th overall last year despite top 10-15 tools, for example — so Blandino may or may not be available for the Yankees’ first pick (55th overall). He did perform well with wood bats in the Cape Cod League last summer (.308/.363/.454) and scouting director Damon Oppenheimer has shown an affinity for guys who perform on the Cape, so I’m sure there’s interest.

Categories : Draft
  • Wolfgang’s Fault

    I’m assuming the video is from his games in the Cape Cod league as everyone sounds like they’re using wood bats. Video shows him playing shortstop so right there, that tells you he’s a good athlete. He moved to his left well and handled a routine grounder to this right routinely so it looks like he’s got good hands and plenty of arm for the left-side of the infield. Hitting, he clearly can turn on a ball from what you can see from the few swings from the in-game video above, and does so w/a nice, solid compact swing. Love that he already is comfortable using the entire field. No question, he’s a solid prospect.

  • Rivera Venue Blues

    This may be a dumb question, but why do so many talented high school hitters go to Stanford if it has such a reputation for hurting guys’ swings? Obviously it’s a great school, so I’m sure that has something to do with it, but if your goal is to go pro, wouldn’t you be risking hurting your baseball career?

    • Brian in MA

      I was honestly going to ask the same thing. I don’t know if college baseball has the same kind of reputation that football has with the “football factories” but there have got to be programs out there that are better suited to this guy’s strengths. Maybe it was about the education, but if he’s coming out in his junior year, than it really wasn’t all that important. The only reason he stuck around is because he wasn’t eligible to be drafted again.