Andres Eloy Perez Blanco, who originally signed with the Phillies in 2012, played in only 25 games in 2014, largely as an injury replacement. In 2015, not much was expected when he re-upped, but he came out of nowhere to post a .292/.360/.502/.863 line with seven home runs in 261 plate appearances. (note: Blanco's Baseball-Reference page has a rounding error) Coupled with well-regarded if not high-scoring defense, Blanco was worth 1.5 WAR, a gold nugget in the field of proverbial shit that was the 2015 Phillies--certainly more than you have the right to ask of your pinch-hitting and defensive replacement corps.
This year, it would be foolish to expect Blanco to repeat his '15 campaign, unfortunately. The man has a career OPS of .702, and while hitting profiles change, and it's certainly possible that he's turned a corner, it's definitely not likely. The B-R projection system pegs him at .794 for this year, which is probably generous; it's worth noting that his 2014 AAA numbers are decidedly worse than his last Major League campaign.
Steamer, on the other hand, says to expect a .248/.303/.375/.678 line, which is sadly more realistic. Similarly, ZiPS has .248/.304/.380/.684. When two systems match and a third is wildly divergent, it's usually prudent to discard the divergent. '14 and '15 did happen, but they represent a relatively small sample compared to his entire body of work.
But screw it, Blanco's gonna hit .794 this year; he did manage .787 in the spring, after all. Also I can feel it in my bones.
Editor's note: Shut up, Phrozen, you can't feel it in your bones.
Blanco couples his hitting with tolerable-to-good defense across the entire infield. Originally expected to spend a lot of time at second base, he has demonstrated his value at shortstop and third as well, with one game spent at first base. He has also spent a few innings in right field, so could be called upon as an emergency outfielder should something like a 19-inning game apocalypse the roster.
Still, if Blanco does continue his newfound hitting ability, he may play a new, and potentially more valuable, role with the Phillies this year: trade bait.
The utility infielder was a pleasant surprise for the Phillies in 2015, coupling above average defense at three positions with a "how did he do that" OPS of .863. What does 2016 hold for the Versatile Venezuelan?