Thursday, June 14, 2007
Two days ago, I had the opportunity to interview Padres prospect Kyle Blanks, who is tearing it up the California League. Blanks, who is a first baseman, is batting .323 with 12 HR, 57 RBI, and 4 SB. He is just twenty, so we should expect to hear from this kid in the next couple years. I want to thank him for donating him time to me and MLB Rumors. I also want to thank Jeff Joseph, who heads Media & Public Relations for the Storm for his help in setting up this interview.
ELI: You are off to a great start this season, did you do anything different during the off-season to prepare?
KYLE: Yeah, just a lot of lifting, working out, and hitting. A lot of things to get in shape for the season.
ELI: The season ended in early September, how much time did you take off before getting back to work?
KYLE: Actually, this past off season I had to go to Instructional [hitting] from mid-September to mid-October. So I hit for that month period and then started hitting again in December.
ELI: Because of your strong start, have you noticed pitcher pitching different to you? More off speed stuff?
KYLE: I'll say it varies from team to team. It goes by what their pitching philosophy is as an organization. But it does come down to what I have done in the past. I do notice some teams pitching me differently, but it is just making the adjustment to how they are throwing.
ELI: You grew up in Pennsylvania, were you a Pirates fan or Phillies fan?
KYLE: I liked the Phillies a little bit when I saw younger, I wasn't there that long.
ELI: Oh. Who'd you root for growing up then?
KYLE: I'd have to say, growing up, more than anything probably a Boston Red Sox fan.
ELI: With the draft just happening last week, you were once taken in the draft in the 42nd round. What was that like being drafted?
KYLE: It was kind of a surprise. I played well in high school, it was just nice to year after four years of hard work. And right after that, there was more work to do so I could sign and then go out and play.
ELI: Did you see it coming? Did you think about it as the draft approached?
KYLE: I was hoping I'd go. I'd talk to a couple of people who said I should be drafted. And when it happened I was pretty happy about it.
ELI: Do you remember which teams you were talking to?
KYLE: I received things from the Padres, Red Sox-mainly questionnaires and other stuff like that.
ELI: You are batting .463 against lefties, is it easier to pick up the ball?
KYLE: I always preferred hitting off righties just because I see them more. I don't know, I guess I'm seeing it better off lefties.
ELI: What is your favorite minor league stadium?
KYLE: Favorite minor league stadium. I'd have to say Isotopes park because that is where I live and it is an unbelievable park.
ELI: How about major league stadium?
KYLE: I'd have to say Fenway.
ELI: Your favorite food on the road. Whether it is at the ballpark or a fast food place.
KYLE: Ooh. Probably any kind of sub place like Quiznos.
ELI: Favorite minor league uniform?
KYLE: Ooh. Um. [pause] Whoo I-
ELI: Storm's pretty good?
KYLE: Yeah, they are at the top of my list.
ELI: And major league jersey?
KYLE: I'm a really big fan of the Padres throwback jersey.
ELI: Oh yeah, like the early eighties.
KYLE: Yeah, like the Dave Winfield jersey's.
ELI: Yeah, yeah, those are like '84.
KYLE: Yeah, those were great.
ELI: Alright, how about your best roommate on the road?
KYLE: I only have one and he's pretty good: Burke, Greg Burke.
ELI: Is he an infielder too?
KYLE: No, pitcher.
ELI: Oh, how about funniest guy in the clubhouse?
KYLE: Probably Burke.
ELI: You got a pretty good deal, huh?
KYLE: Yeah, yeah I do.
ELI: Do you follow baseball during the off season?
KYLE: I try to follow it as much as I can. I like to check Minor League Baseball. Keep myself updated with all the rosters and see where people are going.