|Born: 08/11/1986 (Age: 28)|
|Bats: Switch||Throws: Right|
|Height: 5' 11"||Weight: 245|
|Primary Position: 3B|
|Secondary Position: N/A|
|Present Role||55. First division 3rd baseman|
|Years expected to perform at current level||3|
|Future Role||Will be a first division third baseman due to league wide weakness at position; will be a depth piece on a contending team but lacks true thunder in bat to be the center piece of any lineup.|
|LHH: starts from an open stance with a slight bend in both knees; weight is centered and hands are loose (bat waggle); starts leg lift when the pitcher separates hands; during initial lift, realigns stance; as foot comes down is very mechanically sound; hands come through zone with exceptional speed aided by early hip torque; keeps a very flat bat plane which allows for base hits and extra base hits to all parts of the field; will use both a one and two-handed follow through from the left side.
RHH: much less fluid and explosive from this side, essentially a toned down version of left-handed swing; doesn't start as open and overall movements are much more contained; shows much less torque and weight transfer from right side; bat doesn't work as flat from the right side leading to fewer line drives; will typically finish with two hands on the bat; only power is to his pull side when batting right-handed.
|Hyper aggressive approach from both sides of the plate; has an innate gift for making contact and isn't afraid to turn it loose; hunts fastballs in all counts; if a pitcher throws a fastball in the zone it's nearly a sure thing Pablo will take a swing; out of the zone will still go after fastballs but only if they miss in one direction (will go after a high fastball and a fastball off the plate but is unlikely to chase a fastball high and off the plate); is slightly less aggressive against breaking pitches until behind in the count; once behind will chase breaking pitches particularly those featuring more vertical break; approach is his best friend and worst enemy; on one hand doesn't allow pitchers to go for cheap strikes early in the count, even when behind a pitcher can't make a mistake or else Pablo will end up on the bases, but puts himself in bad counts by chasing pitches, fastballs in particular, and doesn't get to too many situations where the pitcher has to throw a strike.|
|Is a fan favorite which seems trivial but baseball is a business and any GM is likely to use his jovial nature and 'Panda' moniker to the benefit of their bottom line; on the field makeup is solid; plays the game hard without pressing and has a knack for coming up big in the postseason; does not have the traditional build of a third baseman but every pitch he is getting himself in a good fielding position and always willing to dive for a ball; while aggressive nature at the plate might make some teammates shake their head there has never been any public worry about his play on the field.; off the field is a different story, every offseason there seems to be a "Pablo Sandoval losing weight" story; eventually needs to not be a story and just be part of his job as a professional; weight hasn't hindered him to any extreme degree yet but any club about to shell out big money for Pablo needs to be ready to have a solid off season regimen in place.|
|Hit||60||Bat-to-ball skills might be some of the best in the league; overall hit tool grade does not reflect that skill because of over-aggressive nature and recent track record of hitting .280; from left side hit tool is a 7 as he shows the ability to drive the ball to all part of the field with authority; can extend at-bats as a lefty and even drive the ball when down in the count; covers the zone well as a lefty except for well spotted pitches low and on either corner of the plate; is much better against breaking balls from the left side.
As a righty becomes more pull happy, trend is even more apparent when hits the ball on the ground as a right-handed batter; as a lefty covered most of the zone but as a righty lacks that coverage; hits belt high offerings but is in trouble if pitcher works down in zone.
Is much easier to attack as a right-handed hitter, pitchers can feed him low, breaking pitches with token fastballs and find success on a regular basis.
|Power||55||Much more power from the left side; swing is more conducive to power output from left side than right; from the right side usually only clears the fence when pulling a ball; numbers indicate a 5 power grade but ability (from left side) to use whole field and damage different pitch types raise the grade; grade is also indicative of Pablo not needing a typical hitter's count to drive the ball; has a very flat swing plane so greater power numbers are unlikely unless signs with a team featuring a hitter-friendly ballpark.|
|Baserunning/Speed||30||Hasn't attempted a stolen base in two years; lacks acceleration or top end speed; shows times in the mid 4 range on a dig to first base from the left side; has been able to stay at third base due to a good first step and instincts; even without great speed Pablo runs hard and hasn't limited himself yet to a purely station to station baserunner.|
|Glove||45||Shows a good first step and quick hands at the hot corner; gets a good initial move to balls hit to both sides but lacks speed to really allow for plus range; features good reactions; footwork is average but ability to make quick accurate throws saves him at times; is better moving side to side than coming in on balls; defense is good enough for the near future but a combination of his age, weight, and lack of range may turn him in to a "step and a dive" third baseman.|
|Arm||60||Better than expected arm; quick release when needed; can throw from multiple arm slots; will make some throwing errors but many of those can be attributed to footwork getting away from him; arm will not be the factor that moves him off of third base.|
|Batted Ball Percentages|
|vs LHP||vs RHP|
|vs LHP||vs RHP|
|Swing / Miss %||23.36%||10.53%||12.28%||19.55%||13.66%||9.18%|
|Bat to ball skills; should hit 270-280 like clockwork; has enough defensive skill to stay at third for beginning period of new deal; is a monster in the postseason.|
|Overly aggressive approach at the plate and ever-present cloud of weight problems hanging over him; struggles to be average at third base and lacks positional flexibility.|
|Means of Exploitation|
|Fastballs off the plate early in the count and breaking balls down in the zone later in at bats; from the right side pitchers can spin breaking balls for days and find success; even when ahead in the count pitcher can play off aggressiveness and throw breaking balls to get back into the count.|
Pablo's greatest skill is also his greatest weakness. His bat to ball skills means he is prone to chasing pitches and being over aggressive. That being said he should be a constant performer in the .280, 15 home run range at a position where any offense is considered a bonus.
Thank you for reading
This is a free article. If you enjoyed it, consider subscribing to Baseball Prospectus. Subscriptions support ongoing public baseball research and analysis in an increasingly proprietary environment.Subscribe now