Alex Blandino was drafted by the Reds 14 months ago out of Stanford with the 29th overall pick. He spent his first season, or half-season as it was, split between the Billings Mustangs and Dayton Dragons. He saw success at both levels and set himself up for a promotion to the Advanced-A level in 2015.
With the Daytona Tortugas for the first four months of the year he hit .294/.370/.438 with 27 extra-base hits in the pitcher friendly league. Blandino led the league in OPS with an .808 mark, 25 points higher than the player in second place. His performance was strong enough to earn him a promotion to Double-A Pensacola on Monday.
Pensacola was playing an hour-and-a-half north of Daytona, so it was a short trip to make for the infielder after playing a double header on Sunday. He was put into the lineup, batting second and playing second base against Jacksonville.
It didn’t take long for Blandino to make himself known to the Suns, smashing a double over the left fielders head in the first inning. The game would be suspended by rain on Monday and would pick back up on Tuesday. In the 4th inning he would once again announce his presence with authority by hitting a home run to left field, well over the wall (rough google maps distance said 390 feet).
He would later walk in the game and finish his first game at the Double-A level by going 2-5 with a double, home run, walk, two runs driven in and he scored three runs.
It’s worth noting that after spending 24 days on the disabled list in Daytona to start July that Alex Blandino has spent seven of his ten games at second base, with two more at shortstop and one start as the designated hitter. Prior to his trip to the disabled list, he had zero starts at second base, spending his entire season at shortstop. Scouts have said since he signed that he’s a much better fit at second base than at shortstop and it would appear that the Cincinnati Reds may be making that transition at this point in time to get him prepared for his future big league position.