From the Minor League Ball mailbag:
“A few weeks ago you mentioned Alex Blandino as a sleeper prospect, which was silly because he was a first round pick. He’s up now and not doing much. What do you think of him now?”———K.T.D.
I think you’re referring to this article called “National League Central: Sleeper prospects for 2018” published back on April 2nd.
In that piece I wrote this:
CINCINNATI REDS Alex Blandino, INF: Age 25, first round pick in 2014 out of Stanford; hit .265/.382/.453 between Double-A and Triple-A with 36 doubles, 12 homers, 64 walks, 86 strikeouts in 393 at-bats; good strike zone judgment; despite draft and college pedigree he is often lost in the prospect shuffle; on-base skills with occasional pop combined with defensive versatility could still result in a long career.
I thought the comment itself answered your question: I wrote him up as a sleeper because Blandino did not got much attention outside of Reds circles despite his draft pedigree. A mediocre 2016 season in Double-A hurt his prospect reputation but he rebounded in ‘17 and it seemed to me like he was worth pointing out. But no matter. Where does he stand now?
Promoted to the majors on April 9th, Blandino was 1-for-9 when K.T.D’s comment came in a few days ago. He’s now 1-for-15 with five strikeouts. That’s not enough to change my opinion.
Blandino is not going to hit for high averages but he has a long track record of controlling the strike zone well and will show occasional power. His range is too limited for regular use at shortstop but he has a good arm, is competent at second and third and can still play short in a pinch. In these days of short benches, that has value.
Nick Senzel is the future at third base for the Reds so Blandino’s opportunity to make an impression with Cincy is rather limited. That said, he strikes me as the type of player who could have a nice offensive surge at the age of 27, which would be a year and a half down the road.