Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Panda projections

Jimmy Hascup at Bleacher Report has an interesting post about whether Pablo Sandoval is a long-term star. He's pretty optimistic in the short term, even if the team continues to surround him with lousy offensive players. Here are the numbers again --

572 At Bats
.330 Batting Average (189 Hits)
25 Home Runs
90 RBI
79 Runs
Five Stolen Bases
.387 On Base Percentage
.556 Slugging Percentage
.353 Batting Average on Balls in Play

Here are the key points --
-- After taking a look at those numbers, remember one important element: Sandoval played for the fifth worst offense in baseball. Without him, Giants’ lineup would’ve probably had trouble holding its own in Triple-A. That’s how bad it is. And it makes those season numbers that more astonishing.

--If you’re looking for a player with some strike-zone discipline, then you’ve come to the wrong place.Sandoval’s most incredible stat is his tendency to swing at pitches outside of the strike-zone, which he does over 41 percent of the time, second highest in baseball. Then you see that he connects on over 75 percent of them and you can’t refrain from saying, “Wow.” There are other hitters with higher outside-the-zone contact rates, but none of them swing at balls nearly the amount Kung Fu Pando does.

--Sandoval’s average is obviously his biggest asset, though he is beginning to show some serious run-producing abilities. While the average came courtesy of a high .353 BABIP, Sandoval had a .367 rate his rookie season, and one near .340 in the minors.

--There’s definitely no reason to think his success this season was based purely on luck. The one thing owners should feel confident about is his ability to sustain the batting average.
A groundball rate in the minors over 47 percent and a line-drive rate of 15 percent (though it is over 20 percent in the majors), provides a great basis for keeping the average over .300. Especially as it seems Sandoval is growing (no pun intended) as a hitter, he’s turning some of those groundballs into line drives and those line drives into flyballs.

--Despite the absurd swing rates on balls out of the zone, Sandoval doesn’t strikeout that much, just 238 in the minors and a 13.5 percent rate in the majors. He also walked 52 times this year, which is eye-raising considering how impatient he can be.

--The possibilities are endless for Sandoval, if the Giants had some formidable pieces in their lineup. But of course they don’t, and unless they do something drastic this offseason, Sandoval will have to again be the team’s offense.Sandoval’s value will be dulled, as long as the lineup remains as feeble as it is now. Regardless, I expect him to have another excellent, top-5 third basemen-worthy season.
My projections: .333 AVG, 26 HR, 97 RBI, four SB, 87 R.


Blogger stupidmop said...

Hey buddy,

I just noticed that you left a comment on my blog a while back (about why the Giants are better than the Dodgers). I responded to the silly fool who attempted to prove me wrong. :) Thank you for reading my blog.

6:21 PM  

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