As you know, Sandoval had a remarkable ‘08 season, hitting .359/.412/.597 in 68 games for San Jose, then .337/.364/.549 in 44 games for Double-A Connecticut, followed by a .345/.357/.490 mark in 41 games for the Giants, just edging past the rookie eligibility limit. The defense issue is still kind of strange; he’ll likely end up fantasy-qualifying at third base, first base, and catcher this year. Is the bat for real? Although I don’t think he’s going to hit .345 over a full season, yes I think his bat is legitimate. He will never be a walk machine, but he seems like a .real 280-.300 hitter to me. He’s one of those players who makes “hard contact” even on pitches most hitters shouldn’t swing at. Such hitters can win batting titles when things go well, and Sandoval does have that kind of potential. He really snuck up on both statheads and scouts last year.
PECOTA comps are all over the map and show how odd of a player Sandoval is: Arquimidez Pozo, Benito Santiago, Ruben Sierra, Leo Hernandez, Pedro Munoz, Jose Desa, Jose Guillen, Ron Jones, Ivan Rodriguez, Victor Diaz, Darryl Motley, Rafael Palmeiro, Carlos Baerga, and Richard Hidalgo all show up. Talk about a huge range of possible outcomes.
For 2009, projections