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Top Prospect Alert - Tony Blanco

By Robert Sherry

Tony Blanco: Even though he has only played one season in the minors, this 19-year-old emerged as one of the best hitting prospects in the Red Sox system.

Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 1998, Blanco spent 1999 playing in the Dominican Summer League. In 2000, Blanco was one of the nicest surprises in the minors as he put up very impressive numbers. He finished his year in the Gulf Coast League with a .384 average, 13 home runs, 50 runs batted, 13 doubles, one triple, 32 runs scored, 18 walks, 38 strikeouts, and 6 stolen bases in 190 at-bats. Blanco earned a late-season promotion to short-season Lowell (batted .143 in 28 AB).
 
At 6-foot-1 and about 176 pounds, this third baseman could be projected to be a big power-hitter as he develops and learns better plate judgment. Even though the strikeout number was high for his at-bat total, Blanco still hit for a very high average. The high combination of a high average to go with power numbers usually doesn't come too often in teenagers. If he makes more contact at the plate, he could develop into an imposing hitter.

Looking forward to the 2001 season, you will probably see him start at Single-A Augusta. If he has trouble making that jump, you could see him assigned to the New York Penn League as the summer goes on. Give him about three and a half more seasons in the minors and then you could be looking at the Red Sox starting third baseman.


 

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