Pablo Sandoval
Pablo Sandoval
34-Year-Old Third Baseman3B
Atlanta Braves
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Sandoval went through a minor renaissance in 2019. His role stayed small, as he came to the plate just 296 times (still his highest mark since 2015), but he hit well when called upon, finishing with a .268/.313/.507 slash line and 14 homers. His homer total and 110 wRC+ each represented his best marks since 2014. He struck out a career-worst 22.6% of the time, but hit the ball harder when he did connect, managing a career-best 41.4% hard-hit rate. Unfortunately, the year didn't end well for the veteran, as he underwent Tommy John surgery in early September. The procedure doesn't take over a year to recover from for position players like it does for pitchers, but he's still expected to miss a large portion of the upcoming season. He'll turn 34 in August and won't be a very trustworthy asset as a hitter with just one good season in his past five who's coming off a major surgery. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#599
ADP
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$Signed a one-year, minor-league contract with the Braves in September of 2020.
Lands minor-league deal
3BAtlanta Braves  AAA
September 14, 2020
Sandoval signed a minor-league contract with Atlanta on Monday, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports.
ANALYSIS
Sandoval was released after being designated for assignment by the Giants on Thursday, but the 34-year-old will extend his career as part of the Braves' organization. He'll begin at the team's alternate training site, but he could potentially join the active roster in a depth role at some point for a likely playoff run in 2020. Sandoval slashed .220/.278/.268 with five runs and six RBI during 30 games with the Giants this year.
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Batting Stats
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2019
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2017
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
2
2
1
9
2
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
2
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2018
 
 
+11%
OPS vs RHP
2020
 
 
+49%
OPS vs LHP
2019
 
 
+18%
OPS vs LHP
2018
 
 
+85%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018vs Left .682 124 11 4 12 0 .230 .293 .389
Since 2018vs Right .760 514 58 20 75 1 .259 .310 .450
2020vs Left .762 13 1 0 0 0 .300 .462 .300
2020vs Right .511 77 4 1 6 0 .208 .247 .264
2019vs Left .936 52 7 3 9 0 .313 .353 .583
2019vs Right .796 244 35 11 32 1 .259 .305 .491
2018vs Left .440 59 3 1 3 0 .145 .203 .236
2018vs Right .816 193 19 8 37 0 .280 .342 .474
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2018
 
 
+6%
OPS on Road
2020
 
 
+77%
OPS on Road
2019
 
 
+8%
OPS on Road
2018
 
 
+5%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018Home .724 326 33 12 46 0 .246 .292 .432
Since 2018Away .767 312 36 12 41 1 .261 .322 .445
2020Home .374 36 0 0 1 0 .152 .222 .152
2020Away .662 54 5 1 5 0 .265 .315 .347
2019Home .789 153 20 6 21 0 .268 .303 .486
2019Away .855 143 22 8 20 1 .269 .324 .531
2018Home .744 137 13 6 24 0 .246 .299 .444
2018Away .706 115 9 3 16 0 .250 .322 .385
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Stat Review
How does Pablo Sandoval compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB/K
0.33
 
BB Rate
6.7%
 
K Rate
20.0%
 
BABIP
.266
 
ISO
.049
 
AVG
.220
 
OBP
.278
 
SLG
.268
 
OPS
.546
 
wOBA
.250
 
Exit Velocity
83.8 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
44.6%
 
Barrels/PA
2.2%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
Sandoval kept his performance at an acceptable enough level in 2018, hitting .248/.310/.417 with nine homers in 252 plate appearances before a hamstring injury ended his season in late July. He did enough to convince the Giants to exercise his club option, bringing him back in a likely bench role for 2019. It's hard to see him having much fantasy relevance in that role. He should be firmly stuck behind Evan Longoria and Brandon Belt at the infield corners, and even if an injury opens up more regular at-bats, he hasn't posted an above-average batting line since 2014 and plays in a pitcher's park. At age 32, and not famous for his conditioning, it would be a surprise to see Sandoval suddenly return to his former self. His skills have clearly declined, most notably his contact skills (20.6 K% last season after falling between 13.1% and 13.5% from 2009-2014).
After a shoulder strain all but erased his 2016 campaign, Sandoval's disappointing tenure with the Red Sox ended when Boston released him last July. Sandoval reunited with the Giants, and despite another poor showing overall, he hit .385/.390/.744 with three homers in the final 11 games. The switch-hitter has struggled against lefties since his first tenure with San Francisco came to an end -- he has just one big fly against them in his last two full seasons (207 at-bats). Maybe being another year removed from his health woes will help freshen up his swing, but any small possibility for preseason excitement was deflated when the Giants acquired third baseman Evan Longoria. Backing up Brandon Belt at first base looks like Sandoval's best avenue for playing time if he remains on the roster in San Francisco.
Sandoval once was a starting third baseman on a World Series championship team, but to start the 2016 season, he didn't even have a spot in Boston's Opening Day lineup. After a disappointing maiden voyage in Boston, the "Kung Fu Panda" lost his starting gig at the hot corner to Travis Shaw and only received one start over the first week of the season. Things only got worse from there, as a major shoulder strain was discovered in May, forcing him to miss the remainder of the season. Thankfully, the 30-year-old is expected to be fully healthy for spring training, and now his top two competitors at third base are gone: Shaw was traded to the Brewers in December and Yoan Moncada was dealt to the White Sox not long after. Brock Holt is still in the mix for playing time at third, but if Sandoval can get back into shape and return to anywhere near his previous form, he should see plenty of at-bats this season. There are worse ways to use a late-round flier.
When a team, say San Francisco, is winning the World Series, the heavy guy at third base is a quirky element. When a team, say Boston, is in last place and heading nowhere, the heavy guy at third base with a five-year contract gets criticized for his conditioning. Sandoval’s first season with Boston was limited to 126 games by a string of injuries, he failed miserably against lefties (.049 as a RHB and .255 as a LHB) and contributed league-worst fielding at third base. He was also benched briefly for going on social media during a game. Sandoval was supposed to be protection in the middle of the order, but hit just .245/.292/.366 with a career-low 47 RBI. If general manager Dave Dombrowski could find a taker, he'd trade Sandoval, but that's unlikely. His defense improved in the second half -- an encouraging sign for 2016 -- and Sandoval should be motivated to prove his first season with the Red Sox was an anomaly.
Postseason heroics plus a new team? Beware the draft-day inflation with this one. Sandoval played in more than 150 games in 2014 for just the first time in the last four seasons, and hit .279/.324/.415. It marked the fourth consecutive season in which his slugging percentage declined, and a big reason for that was his struggles against lefties. Normally not someone with splits issues, Sandoval hit .199/.244/.319 against lefties last season. The move from San Francisco to a more hitter-friendly park in Boston should help, but prospective owners need to remember Sandoval is a relatively large player who has had issues staying healthy. He will have the hype machine behind him after the monster postseason, but do not overlook the risk. Fantasy owners should not overpay for these skills.
Sandoval had a relatively healthy year (141 games) in 2013 considering he missed at least 45 games in both 2011 and 2012. He turned in a fairly useful campaign at a deep position, with 14 homers, 79 RBI, a 115 wRC+, and a .278/.341/.417 line. Weight was an issue for Sandoval, as he entered spring training overweight yet again. Despite the weight issues, he still managed to produce, but that may not be the case down the road. He should be motivated to get into playing shape this upcoming season, considering 2014 will be a contract year for the switch-hitting third baseman. All of Sandoval's peripherals were right in line with his career averages, so it would be safe to assume similar production in 2014 as long as he stays healthy and in shape.
Sandoval dealt with injuries once again in 2012, and his overall season was not as strong because of the decline in his HR/FB rate from 16.0 to 9.5 percent. His overall wOBA was down to .338 due to his drop in power, and not because of his actual OBP that held steady at .342. Sandoval's overall average dropped to .283 because of a 20-point decrease in his BABIP, which was affected by a career-high 15.1 percent infield flyball rate. If Sandoval can keep away from another hamate fracture in 2013, expect 18-21 home runs with a slash line closer to his career rates (.301/.353/.490).
Sandoval showed up last year in shape and about 40 pounds thinner than the previous season, and the hard work paid off, as he finished with a .315/.357/.552 line. He hit 23 homers with 70 RBI over just 426 at-bats while playing in a park that graded as the toughest to hit in baseball. Sandoval's approach at the plate remained the same, as he swung at the greatest percentage of pitches outside the strike zone among all hitters in baseball. He missed about six weeks with a broken hand, but the injury didn't sap his power after he returned. Sandoval later suffered a shoulder injury that limited him, as the switch-hitter wasn't even able to swing right-handed at the end of the season. The injury didn't require offseason surgery, but the key will be what shape he shows up in, as Sandoval regained all the weight he lost over the course of the 2011 season. Sandoval is still just 25 years old and has transformed himself into one of the best defensive third basemen in the league, so he's an elite talent at a position that's typically thin in fantasy leagues.
After hitting .330 with 25 homers and 90 RBI in 2009, Sandoval's numbers dropped precipitously last year, as he hit just .268 with 13 homers and 63 RBI, becoming one of the biggest busts in fantasy baseball. He saw his OPS drop by more than 200 points and ended the year as a bench player on a team that struggled with offense. Weight was a problem, as was his hit rate, as his BABIP fell to .294 after finishing above .350 during each of his first two years in the league. Sandoval swung at a greater percentage of pitches than any hitter in the National League, as plate discipline is his biggest issue. He reportedly had already lost 15 pounds just six weeks into the offseason, and the hope is he'll take that aspect more seriously after losing his starting job. Sandoval is a wild card entering 2011, but he's one season removed from posting a .943 OPS as a 23-year-old, and with no current alternatives on the roster, the Giants will give him every opportunity to regain the starting job at third base. He's a fine buy-low target in fantasy leagues.
With such a low walk rate and the propensity to swing at any pitch within three feet of the strike zone, Sandoval entered 2009 with legitimate concerns of whether he could maintain such a high batting average. After hitting .330 over 572 at-bats, most of those worries have been eased. Sandoval took 28 walks over the season’s final two months, so while he still swings at too many pitches outside the strike zone, his plate discipline is improving, which is encouraging news going forward. AT&T Park suppresses some of his power, but he still managed 25 homers and 90 RBI as a 23-year-old last season. Sandoval no longer qualifies at catcher in fantasy leagues, but he should qualify at third base and first base in most leagues. While he didn't embarrass himself while learning to play third base last year, he'll likely move to first base after the Giants signed Mark DeRosa. He underwent a rigorous offseason workout program and completely changed his diet, so "Kung Fu Panda" should be primed for a monstrous 2010 campaign.
Sandoval was a pleasant surprise in 2008, hitting .345 in 41 games after getting called up from the minors. He walked just four times over 145 at-bats, so that high batting average is definitely unsustainable moving forward. Still, he's a solid prospect and has been penciled in as either the team's starter at first or third base next season. Since he should qualify at catcher in most fantasy leagues, Sandoval is an intriguing option later in drafts.
A 21-year-old third baseman, Sandoval posted a line of .287/.312/.476 during 401 at-bats at High-A San Jose last year. He's exhibited some pretty good power potential, but improved plat discipline is needed. He's a long time away from reaching the majors.
More Fantasy News
Released by Giants
3BFree Agent  AAA
September 10, 2020
Sandoval was released by the Giants on Thursday.
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Designated for assigment
3BSan Francisco Giants  AAA
September 10, 2020
Sandoval was designated for assignment Thursday, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports.
ANALYSIS
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Playing time trending down
3BSan Francisco Giants  AAA
September 2, 2020
Sandoval is out of the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Rockies, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.
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Powers team to victory
3BSan Francisco Giants  AAA
August 18, 2020
Sandoval went 2-for-4 with a double, a home run, a walk, three RBI and one run scored Tuesday against the Angels.
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Ready to go Friday
3BSan Francisco Giants  AAA
August 14, 2020
Sandoval (personal) is batting seventh as the designated hitter Friday against Oakland.
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