Kyle Blanks was designated for assignment this winter by the Rangers' biggest AL West rival, and thanks to the A's decision to cut him loose, he's now off to a scorching hot start to his Rangers career, and has breathed some new life into a hapless Rangers' offense.
There's only one problem with all of that, though. We've seen this movie before, and it's starred Blanks.
The 6-6, 265-pound beast came to Texas with the label of being a one-trick pony, and his one trick was hitting baseballs a really long way. So far, he's done just that for the Rangers, and his homer Tuesday night gave him the team lead with three homers on the season in just six games as a Ranger.
That pace would have Blanks on track for an 81-home run season, which of course isn't happening. But it's a great start to a career with a team, nonetheless. But Blanks is no rookie. He's been around for a while, and he's done this before with the San Diego Padres.
His stint with the A's only lasted 21 games a year ago after he was acquired from San Diego via trade. During that time, he hit just two home runs.
In 2013, he had eight homers in 88 games with the Padres, and keep in mind, the Padres' home park is probably the least hitter-friendly park in all of baseball. That's basically a 16-homer pace, which the Rangers would gladly take. In 2011, he hit seven bombs in 55 games — roughly a 21-homer season, which would've led the Rangers a year ago. But how about his rookie season in 2010? Wow, there's a power surge. Blanks played in 54 games that year — an exact third of a season — and he hit 10 long balls, a pace for 30 homers.
So this is nothing new for Blanks, and in his defense, he's never had the chance to be a full-time player to see what he can do. However, that lack of playing time is probably due to the fact he's also had a tendency to strike out a ton and trail off once pitchers adjust.
With all that said, it sure is fun to watch right now.