Amidst the “Melk Man” craze sweeping the aisles of AT&T Park is a smaller, lesser known craze. One that admires high on-base percentages and fleet-footedness.
It’s the White Shark craze. It’s Gregor Blanco: reigning Venezuelan Winter League MVP.
With Nate Schierholtz in the doghouse, Blanco has emerged as the everyday right-fielder, as well as the everyday leadoff man. The man that barely made the opening day roster is one of a few surprising elements on the current 25-man squad.
Firstly, Blanco. He’s hitting and getting on base.
- Second in the NL in walks per plate appearance (.181) behind only Joey Votto, who leads the NL in walks
- 10th highest OBP amongst NL batters with a minimum 75 PA
- Leads the Giants in walks (19), despite having half the at-bats as other everyday starters
Secondly, Ryan Vogelsong. He’s not a fluke, folks.
- Six quality starts to tie for the team lead, which gives him a 0.86 quality start percentage, good enough for 10th in MLB
- 2.27 ERA to lead the team, 12th in MLB
- Last four starts (The month of May): 28 and 1/3 innings, 0.95 ERA (3rd best in MLB)
And lastly, the obvious (and not necessarily a surprise), Melky Cabrera. There may not be a hotter hitter in baseball right now.
- In the month of May, he’s batting .427 with 35 hits, which leads the majors
- In that span, he has 12 multi-hit games. TWELVE
- Last seven games: .481, 13 hits. Tied for the major league lead with the Angels’ highly touted prospect Mike Trout, who is 20 years old
- He’s raised his batting average over 70 points since May 1, jumping from .287 to .360 (second in the NL behind David Wright)