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Monday, November 24, 2014

2015 FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: PABLO SANDOVAL 3B BOSTON RED SOX

                                             Pablo Sandoval

Our very own Michael Wong had this one nailed from the beginning.  As soon as the confetti fell on the San Francisco Giants after their latest World Series win over the Kansas City Royals, Wong reported from his source that it was pretty much guaranteed Pablo Sandoval would be signed by the Boston Red Sox.  Wong reported that Sandoval was the key component in the team's offseason makeover and thus they wasted little time in securing Kung Fu Panda with a five-year deal worth $100 million.  This news came just hours after the team announced they had also signed free agent SS Hanley Ramirez who they will stick in leftfield.  On this very busy day for the Red Sox and those looking already toward 2015 fantasy baseball, let's take a closer look at Sandoval and what he could provide his prospective owners this season. 

The first issue to get out of the way is the fact that Sandoval's 2015 draft stock is headed up sharply due to his new locale.  Outside of maybe Colorado or with the New York Yankees, there is not an MLB city that gets a hitter's stock and value to shoot up more than Boston due to the hitting/power-friendly confines of Fenway Park.  Sandoval will thus cost a bit more than he did prior to last season when he was widely considered "just another guy" after a series of mediocre years with the Giants when he failed to make any big gains in any one hitting category.  Ever since Sandoval's 2009 breakout (25 HR/90 RBI/.330 AVG.), he has been pretty ordinary over the following five seasons.  As evidence take a look at these numbers over the last three years which is more indicative of where Sandoval currently is as a hitter:

Sandoval's Home Run Total (Last Three Seasons):  12, 14, 16

Sandoval's RBI Total (Last Three Seasons):  63, 79, 63

Sandoval's Average (Last Three Seasons):  .283, .278, .279

When those numbers are combined, you have a guy who is not even worthy of being a top ten fantasy baseball third baseman.  The home runs, RBI, and average are solid no doubt but Sandoval comes up short in all three categories as far as being a difference-maker there.  Part of the blame could surely be pinned on the pitching-dominant ballpark he has always previously called home in San Francisco and Sandoval also has dealt with a slew of injuries (mostly to his hands) which further stunted his statistics.  The fact of the matter however is that moving to Boston will undoubtedly add numbers to all three of those categories, in addition to runs where Sandoval has centered mostly around the 50-65 realm.  Sandoval has hit over 20 home runs twice in his career (also swatting 23 in 2011) and no doubt his new home ballpark should have him challenging that mark again.  There is also a decent chance of Sandoval collecting 80-plus RBI and pushing his average back toward the .290 mark.  When you put the numbers together under those projections, we could surely than be looking at a top ten fantasy baseball third baseman.  One of the worst conditioned athletes in the game, Sandoval is always a risk for injury but his stock is only going up from here, with a great help from his new digs.  Just be sure not to overpay due to the new uniform this season.

2015 PROJECTION:  .288 19 HR 81 RBI 77 R 1 SB

 

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