At the plate, in the field, in seemingly every respect, they couldn’t seem more different. They even sit at opposite sides of the spring-training clubhouse.
Though he’s been a major leaguer for four years – albeit sidelined on the disabled list for large parts of each of those years – Kyle Blanks is still only 26 years old. Mark Kotsay’s been a big leaguer since he was just 21, but that was fully 16 years ago.
Blanks is 6-foot-6 and Kotsay isn’t. Not even close. Blanks hits right, throws right, Kotsay’s left-left.
Though perhaps his most memorable home run as a Padres hitter was an inside-the-park scramble at Petco, Blanks clearly is built for power, as was evidenced by the ball he crushed against the Texas Rangers a couple days ago. Kotsay, who came into the majors as a fleet outfielder with a dead-accurate arm and developed into one of the game’s most utilitarian players, will soft-liner a pitcher to death with a flick of the wrists.
“I see someone like Kotsay, someone who’s absolutely mastered his craft,” said Blanks, looking across the locker room. “That’s what I want. It doesn’t matter what time of the game I come in, doesn’t matter what the guy on the mound is doing, I’m gonna do exactly what I’m gonna do.
"Kotsay does that. He’s goes up whenever and just rakes. That’s exactly what every guy in this locker room wants to do, to get to that different level where Kotsay’s already been for quite a while now. He comes out and goes 8-for-10, five hits in a row, right off the bat.”
Blanks firing anything but blanks
San Diego Union-Tribune | Mar 6