#21 Travis Blankenhorn, 3B/2B, Fort Myers Miracle
Nate’s Rank: 19, Gary’s Rank: 23
High Schooler Travis Blankenhorn was the Twins third round pick in the 2015 MLB draft. His $650,000 signing bonus was $104,000 below the slot value of $754,000 for the No. 80 selection in the draft. Originally projected as a third baseman, he has split time between second and third since 2016.
Blankenhorn has advanced steadily, reaching Advanced-A level Fort Myers this season. The 6′ 2″, 208-pound lefty has a slash line of .235/.303/.398 with 11 home runs, 55 RBI’s, and 47 runs scored in 389 at-bats. He has struck 118 times while drawing 32 walks.
The month of July has not been kind to Blankenhorn the last two years. At Cedar Rapids in 2017, his July line was .144/.238/.211, with an OPS of .449. The 2018 July swoon saw a line of .196/.282/.359, with an OPS of .640.
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FanGraphs had Blankenhorn ranked #6 among Twins prospects but he has dropped to #9 in their mid-season update. They rate him with above-average power that will improve. He has very low 30 grades in hitting and game power on the 20-80 scale but they project both to become average in the future. His speed and fielding ability are below average and are not projected to ever get there. His future value is graded at 45. FanGraphs adds this about Blankenhorn:
"The carrying tools here are the bat and newly developing power: Blankenhorn has added loft to his swing and at least an extra grade of power over the last two years while still maintaining average pitch selection and bat control. He projects for something like Neil Walker: hit and power tools from the left side ranging anywhere from 50 to 60 (closer to 50 hit and closer to 60 power) as a fringey defender that fits best at second or third."
MLB.com has Blankenhorn ranked #18 with an overall rating of 45 dropping from #14 on their preseason list. They praise his ability to drive the ball and that his uptick in power is a good sign that he could be at least Major League Average.
Minor League Ball gave the 22-year-old a preseason rank of #17 with a B-/C+ grade with this to say:
"Versatile with the glove, capable at second and third and now picking up outfield innings as well; some pop with the bat but hasn’t really taken off, still young enough to do so eventually."
Travis Blankenhorn is a young prospect that needs to work hard on every aspect of his game. He has a relatively low ceiling, but I think the Twins have faith in his high floor to develop into a steady and productive major leaguer.