Well, he’s back. Blanco is what he is, a natural reserve outfielder who is unfortunately still the Braves’ best solution in center and probably better than either of the corner outfielders too. His strengths as a player are his ability to draw walks, as indicated last year by his isolated on-base of .115, and speed. His weaknesses are pretty much everything else. He hit only .255 and had almost as many strikeouts (99) as hits (108). The two are closely related; if you strike out a whole lot, you aren’t going to hit for a high average unless you hit the ball hard when you do. Blanco has no power at all and hit only one homer last season.
It wasn’t just an adjustment to the majors. Blanco has always struck out at about a 100-times-a-year rate in the minors, and his career minor league batting average is .272. This season he got off to a terrible start in Gwinnett but was picking it up some. He still has no power, his batting average was .242, but he was still drawing walks. He doesn’t solve the Braves’ biggest problem, their lack of power, but he’ll get on base fairly well and even he’ll make contact more than Schafer.
I don’t really have a handle on Blanco’s defense. Some systems like it a lot, some think that he’s below-average in center, though pretty good in left. He does not throw well… Fast, but not a really quality basestealer; still, certainly a far greater SB threat than anyone else on the current roster.