The White Shark Roller Coaster (WITH GRAPHS) #SFGiants


Most of us didn’t know who this Gregor Blanco kid was coming into Scottsdale, and I think it’d be fair to say most fans still don’t know what we have here, but having been riding the awesome wave of May, and have been reminded of April as his June stats have been bringing him down. So with the help of Fangraphs’ graphs, we’re going to take a look at a bigger sample size of what Blanco’s done over the course of career in Atlanta, Kansas City, and now San Francisco. Start with using wOBA (weighted on base average), which is the best offensive metric you can use to measure one player’s performance, in my opinion:

As we see here, he’s performing a little better than average this year versus the rest of his career, but the problem is we’ve seen both the highs and lows we may not have seen what an “average Blanco period” looks like.

Overall, this is his best career year for wOBA thus far, but we’ll see how far he regresses by the time the AS break occurs, and from his 2010 performance, it’d be a surprise if he did a lot more. We’ll see if he levels out or just ends up being an “up and down” kind of guy.

Now to take a look at the balls Blanco puts in play (GB = ground balls, FB = fly balls, LD = line drives):

More line drives = hitting the ball harder. Hitting the ball harder = higher likelihood Blanco gets bigger hits than past years. Blanco getting bigger hits = higher wOBA. What is interesting is how low his GB% is compared with last year, but as you’ll see in the final graph, that number is on the rise as his wOBA has been going down:

After nearly three months of seeing this perhaps slightly better Blanco, we may not have the best sample size, but we have something to work with. To close, I’m going to give you some reference points using wOBA and some of the Giants leadoff hitters since 2010 that you’ll remember pretty well and this may get you thinking as to what you may be expecting if Gregor Blanco were to be in the leadoff spot for the duration of the 2012 season:

.392 — 2012 May for Gregor Blanco

.363 — 2010 Andres Torres

.340 — 2012 Gregor Blanco

.321 — 2011 Cody Ross

.321 — Gregor Blanco career average

.296 — 2011 Andres Torres

.291 — 2012 June for Gregor Blanco

.287 — 2010 Aaron Rowand

.270 — 2011 Aaron Rowand

.270 — 2012 April for Gregor Blanco