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Travis Blankenhorn - 2017

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#1 gunnarthor

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 09:26 AM

Blankenhorn was the Twins 3rd round pick in the 2015 draft.  The Twins drafted Jay in the first round, lost a second round pick to sign Santana and then used a supplemental pick to draft Kyle Cody, who did not sign.  So, after Jay, Blankenhorn was the Twins next pick, taken #80 overall.  Blankenhorn is from Pennsylvania so didn't have the exposure of warm weather players (much like Trey Cabbage and Alex Kiriloff) but impressed before the draft in the showcase circuit.  

 

Blankenhorn hit ok after the draft but had a really big season last year and finished the year in Cedar Rapids at only 19 years old.  His combined line was .293/.348/.502 with 10 home runs in only 59 games.  His big year moved him up on team rankings and mlbpipeline has him #7 on the Twins list.  They wrote

 

"Blankenhorn is simply a natural hitter from the left side of the plate. While he's still learning the strike zone and refining his approach, he has tremendous instincts with a very direct swing, one that squares the ball up consistently. As he matures, he should continue to grow into power, with the ceiling to be above average in that department, and left-handed pitching doesn't seem to bother him. Where Blankenhorn profiles best defensively is much more in question. A high school shortstop, Blankenhorn mostly played third during his pro debut, then saw more time at second in 2016. A former standout in football and basketball, Blankenhorn is more athletic than one might think, but he's likely to land at an infield corner or left. The good news is his bat should play in either spot.

The Twins are very excited about Blankenhorn's offensive potential, feeling there's more to come as he physically matures. Some see a future Corey Koskie, who had 25 or more homers twice in his Twins career, as a distinct possibility."

 

He'll start the year back in Cedar Rapids where he might play 2b and 3b but is listed as DH on the team roster.  Ideally, we see him move up to Ft Myers at the break and continue to show a big bat.

 

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#2 ShouldaCouldaWoulda

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 12:15 AM

Any word on how his defense has been thus far at 2B this year? His bat would be delicious, if he could profile as a league average 2B, otherwise I can't get excited about him as a corner OF or 1B as a prospect. 


#3 goulik

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 01:38 PM

So far he has only played one game at 2nd, 4 at 3rd and two at DH. His only error on the season is at 3rd...


#4 nicksaviking

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 01:43 PM

Crystal ball says that by the time Blackenhorn is being considered for a call-up the incumbent third baseman will have replaced the incumbent first baseman opening up a spot at the hot corner.

 

I'm skeptical but it's hard to argue with a crystal ball.

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#5 GP830

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 03:58 PM

 

Crystal ball says that by the time Blackenhorn is being considered for a call-up the incumbent third baseman will have replaced the incumbent first baseman opening up a spot at the hot corner.

 

I'm skeptical but it's hard to argue with a crystal ball.

You don't argue with that sort of insight...

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#6 gunnarthor

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 07:44 AM

Might as well update this now.  Through his first 8 games, Blankenhorn has killed the ball - .400/.438/.833 with 6 extra base hits out of 12 hits.  His babip is skyhigh but that just might be because he's hitting laser beams.  The only real negative if you want to nit-pick is that he's only walked once against 10 strike outs.  But again, if you're hitting .400, you don't need to walk.  

 

He's played third base 5x, second base once and DH'd 2x.  Obviously it's too early for a promotion but I would be very surprised if he spends the entire season in Cedar Rapids.  He's going to need to see better pitchers to take more walks because he seems pretty capable of hitting low A pitching stuff.


#7 gunnarthor

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 10:10 AM

I guess it's time for another update but it's not as nice.

 

Over his last 19 games Blankenhorn is hitting .182/.313/.242, although he does have 7 walks (nearly 9% walk rate!) against 18 strike outs. That's something of an improvement.  Some of this might be bad luck - he has a .245 babip nad his 22% krate isn't that scary.  But he's young and struggling right now.  It happens.


#8 gunnarthor

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 03:23 PM

So I should update this again.

 

Blankenhorn was struggling earlier but has gotten better. He made the all-star team and was on mlbpipeline's prospect team of the week this week - http://m.mlb.com/new...picid=151437456

 

He's been hitting pretty well since a slump and started coming around in mid-May but since June 1st, Blankenhorn has been crushing it.  He's hitting .333/.415/.696 with 8 walks against 15 strike outs.  He also has 5 triples but I don't think he's that fast so ... 

 

He also stole home a few games ago.  

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#9 Parker Hageman

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 03:28 PM

Thanks for the updates on Blankenhorn. One of the things I noticed earlier this season is that he had modified his swing some -- adding a barrel tip to his swing. 

 

 

I also like how he has shown home run power to all fields. 

 

Travis Blankenhorn.png

 

 

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#10 gunnarthor

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 10:52 AM

Blankenhorn has dropped a bit in our prospect ranking by mlbpipeline from #7 to # 11.

 

Their is some good and bad in Blankenhorn's season. He's hitting .233/.337/.402 which is worse than what we all wanted. He leads the league with 9 triples(!) and his iso power and on-base are solid enough. But he's also struck out 100x already (9th in the league). 

 

He's only 20 so it's not like he's behind the prospect curve but it looks like it'll be a full season in low A and next year a full season high A.  He's not on a fast track.