Pablo Sandoval gave Gregor Blanco the nickname "Tiburon Blanco." Not necessarily because the outfielder played for the Tiburones in winter league. It is because Blanco attacks the game just as a Great White Shark does its prey.
"Being aggressive," Blanco cited as his playing style, "Be aggressive in all my positions, hitting-wise, defensively, running the bases. I think thats a really big part of my game."
It's a game that has more than impressed the Giants coaching staff and will likely earn the 28-year-old a spot on the opening day roster. Blanco can play all three outfield positions and has a presence at the plate as well.
"He can work the counts," first base coach Roberto Kelly said. "He can get the walks, he can get the hits. Once he gets on base he can steal the base and in the outfield he can run down a lot of balls and he has a good arm so he can play every facet of the game."
Blanco leads the Giants in hits, walks and stolen bases this spring. Its without a doubt the best spring of his career, but not one he is taking for granted. He spent the 2011 season in the minors and missed the last month with a wrist injury.
"I said to myself just to prove to yourself you can do it," Blanco said. "That you can deserve to be a big league player.
"The years before, I had my tools, but I never showed it. But now I say to myself, this is the big leaguer I want to be."
"This is his season," Kelly added. "Come ready, show everything hes got in order to show people what he can do and obviously hes done a great job of it on both sides of the field."
The coaches aren't the only ones taking notice.
"Even here," said Blanco. "People scream my name and its spring training and Im really enjoying that. I think that's really big that a team has fans like the Giants."
And soon they will all like the "Tiburon Blanco" as well.