Dairon Blanco made history this evening after stealing three bases in the Omaha Storm Chasers 8-5 win over the Indianapolis Indians. The speedster now owns the team’s single season record with 47 stolen bases.
Blanco is having a whale of a year in the minors with the Kansas City Royals, yet the 30 year old outfielder has not been called up to the big leagues this year. Caught in a logjam behind MJ Melendez, Jackie Bradley Jr, Nate Eaton, Edward Olivares and Nick Pratto the Cuban will probably not the majors this year.
But that does not mean he is not a viable commodity for other teams looking for outfield help during the trade deadline. The Cuban debuted in the big leagues last year on May 20th with the Royals hit .286 with RBIs in five games before inexplicably being designated for assignment on June 3rd by the ball club.
After an offseason where he was a dominant force in the Puerto Rican Winter League with Ponce hitting .301 and leading the circuit in stolen bases with 25, he was also a key cog in the Dominican Winter League where he led the Tigres del Licey to a championship as reinforcement. The native of Camagüey, Cuba collected eight hits, drove in three runs, stole four bases and slashed .500/.526/.563/1.089 during the 2023 LIDOM championship series.
This season in the minors with the Omaha Storm Chasers (AAA) he is hitting .347, has gone yard three times, knocked in 19 runs and as mentioned he leads the International League with 47 stolen bases. With trade deadline scheduled for August 1st of this year Blanco could augment some contenders bench for playoffs, be a pinch runner or maybe even surprise a team needing outfield help due to the way he has developed his power and contact.
Con tres bases robadas en esta noche el jardinero camagüeyano Dairon Blanco estableció un nuevo récord de los @OMAStormChasers y después lo aumentó. Blanco también batea .347 en la temporada. #pelotacubana #WelcomeToTheCity pic.twitter.com/8F5CT7UfFg
— Yusseff305 🇨🇺🇺🇲 (@yusseff305) June 11, 2023
How do you feel about having broken the stolen base record in Omaha?
Yes, I set my sites breaking all these records and I thank God that things have turned out well for me. I also prepared myself very well and worked plenty on my body in the off season. When the Major League training camps started, I began to adapt myself to the level of competition and this tedious preparation played a big role in my breaking of these records.
Are you a little disappointed that you are having a good season and have not been called to the big leagues?
I am having a great season, probably the best of my pro career and things going well right now. Regarding the Major Leagues, right now I don’t think about that. I am just trying to stay healthy and just focus on the task at hand. If I do that I know things are going to get better. Whether it’s this month or the other, I know I’ll get there, because I’ve sacrificed a lot. But at this moment my focus is to continue performing so that when the opportunity arises and the moment arrives, I can make the most of it and give it my best.
Any goal you have for the rest of the season?
The goal I have right now is to stay healthy and continue working hard so that things continue flowing as they have up to now. Keeping calm is essential, because I know that things are going to change soon. I have very high self-esteem, I am always positive and I’m focused. Staying in shape will be key for me for what’s left of the season.