Dairon Blanco, Kansas City Royals
Dairon Blanco has only started seven games so far this season; one of 10 players with 10+ stolen bases in 2023 Via mlb.com

SEATTLE - Despite not being a regular starter, Cuban player Dairon Blanco made a global impression on May 9 with the Kansas City Royals, finishing with a stat line that matches a rare achievement seen only once in the past 50 seasons.

In their series-opening game against the Angels, the Royals cruised to a 10-4 win thanks to the effort of —mainly— Dairon Blanco, who finished the game going 3-for-3 with a home run, a bunt hit, a double, a walk, four runs scored and two swiped bags. Blanco is just one of two players in the last 50 seasons to have a game like that, joining the Hall of Famer Larry Walker who did it for the Rockies on Aug 25, 1996.

His two-run homer in the top of the third inning traveled a distance of 396 feet, putting Kansas City ahead and never turned back. It was his first homer of the season and only his fourth in the Majors. Out of those four, three of them have come away from home.

Even though opportunities to showcase his power have been limited to just seven starts this season, Blanco did not waste his chance and went perfect on the night for his third 3+ hit game since making his debut in MLB.

"It doesn't matter if I'm starting or [coming in] late," Blanco said through interpreter Luis Perez. "I'm always prepared. I keep working hard, and every time I get the opportunity to do it, it's just a matter of being ready."

Although he is not the strongest batter in the Majors, the Cuban is known for his tremendous speed and his ability to swipe bags. Blanco ranks in the 95th percentile for spring speed with a 29.2 feet/second mark. He has stolen 10 bases this season in just 30 at-bats, 57 fewer than the next highest player (Lane Thomas - 87).

Only 10 players have stolen 10+ more bases so far this season, between them all, Blanco is the only one with less than 80 at-bats.

According to baseball writer Francys Romero, Blanco became the fastest runner from home to first this season, clocking a time of 3.62 seconds.

An expert in the art of stealing bases, the Cuban set a Triple A record for the Omaha Storm Chasers in 2023, when he recorded 47 swiped bags in just 49 games played. He broke his own record set a year prior, in which he stole 45 bases in 107 games.

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