With the 29th overall selection in the 2014 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft, which was compensation for losing outfielder Shin-Soo Choo in free-agency to the Texas Rangers this past offseason, the Cincinnati Reds selected shortstop Alex Blandino from Stanford University.
"Blandino burst on the scene as a freshman, hitting eight home runs despite starting just 29 games. He has yet to match that total in the two ensuing seasons but has hit enough to be one of the top college bats in the class. The 6-foot, 190-pounder has a strong track record hitting with wood, batting .310 with five home runs in 268 at-bats in the Cape Cod League the last two summers, often playing shortstop for Yarmouth-Dennis. He's struggled a bit more with Stanford, especially as a junior where he's been pitched around in a below-average lineup. He's a career .282 hitter heading into the home stretch of his college career, despite having looseness in his swing, good bat speed and quick wrists. He does a good job staying inside the ball but at times sells out trying to generate home run power. Blandino projects more as a fringe-average or average power hitter rather than a true bopper, so a move to second base fits better than third."
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