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Blanco eager to 'make it happen' with Giants

Blanco eager to 'make it happen' with Giants

Blanco eager to 'make it happen' with Giants
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Gregor Blanco may be a new man in the San Francisco clubhouse this spring, but you'd never know it from the way he's fit in since pulling on his Giants uniform.

Blanco, who signed with the team in November after spending last season in the Nationals and Royals farm systems, is following a superb winter with a solid, albeit young, spring.

The MVP of the Venezuelan Winter League, Blanco is hitting .364 so far in the Cactus League. He chipped in two hits in Wednesday's 8-6 Giants victory over Colorado, including a crucial eighth-inning RBI double.

"It's been great; I feel like I'm a part of the team," Blanco said. "They support me, everybody that's in here, and that's kind of cool to get to an organization and everybody welcomes you. It's been great."

Blanco isn't a top candidate to make the team's roster out of camp. When asked about Blanco's prospects, manager Bruce Bochy replied by noting "it's early" and "that will be determined deeper in the spring."

But that doesn't mean that Bochy doesn't like what he's seen thus far. He compared Blanco's skill set to that of Andres Torres -- the former Giants center fielder, currently playing with the Mets, and he praised Blanco's ability to "make things happen."

"He can play anywhere in the outfield," Bochy said. "It's early, but he's playing well. These guys are playing well, they're doing what they need to do."

Blanco said he understands the decision the team will have to make come April. For now, he sees his job as making himself useful to the club in as many ways as possible.

"Taking pitches, playing good defense, whatever the manager needs me for, I'm just going to try to be ready for it," Blanco said.

Following 2 1/2 seasons in Atlanta, Blanco was traded to Kansas City in 2010 -- his last season in the big leagues. In 85 total games between the two clubs, Blanco hit .283 with a .360 on-base percentage and 11 steals.

But he never cracked the Majors in 2011 after a May trade sent him from Kansas City to Washington (or perhaps more accurately, Syracuse to Omaha).

"I always say to myself that things always happen for a reason," Blanco said. "All my career has been a roller coaster, and hopefully right now I can make this team, and I can get going."

Blanco dropped 15 pounds in the offseason and said he feels stronger, too, despite the weight loss. Playing alongside another Giant, catcher Hector Sanchez, Blanco led his squad to second place in the winter league.

He led off in Venezuela, a spot he likes because of his ability to work counts and get in the heads of opposing pitchers once he reaches base.

"Be aggressive, that is my game," Blanco said. "Take advantage of the opposing team, and make him throw over more when I'm on base, so I can be more of a pain for them when I get on base."

Blanco's positive outlook is obvious, and his ability to forget the past can be summed up with one sentence he spoke before Wednesday's game.

"I didn't make it happen," Blanco said of his past performance. "Now I feel like I can."

AJ Cassavell is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["spring_training" ] }
{"content":["spring_training" ] }