Fantasy Baseball Player Prospecting: Jerry Sands

by Chris Hadorn on April 19, 2011 @ 13:36:09 PDT

 


Your fantasy baseball rankings look a little stale. KFFL.com's Fantasy Baseball Player Prospecting series highlights the exploits of minor league baseball players, including top MLB prospects. Find out who'll make an impact, whether it's in your rotisserie or head-to-head baseball game next week or in your fantasy baseball keeper league two years from now.

Dissatisfied with their reeling offense that ranks among the bottom 10 in baseball in runs scored, the Los Angeles Dodgers called up highly regarded prospect 1B/OF Jerry Sands from Triple-A Albuquerque, where he was hitting .400 with five homers and 17 RBIs through 10 games.

Los Angeles Dodgers 1B/OF Jerry Sands
Sands through the hourglass

Making his major league debut Monday night, Sands went 1-for-3 with a double, an RBI sacrifice fly and two strikeouts in the Dodgers' 4-2 win over the Atlanta Braves.

In 2010, Sands was named the organization's minor league player of the year after batting a combined .301 with 35 home runs, 93 RBIs, 18 stolen bases and a .981 OPS between low Single-A Great Lakes and Double-A Chattanooga.

Last night Sands showed some of the positives and negatives he brings to the table. The 23-year-old rookie showed that he wasn't a swing-for-the-fences hitter; he was willing to take what the pitcher gave him and use the whole field to his advantage.

Case in point: In Sands' debut at-bat in the first inning, Tim Hudson was ahead of him 1-2 in the count and left a belt-high fastball on the outside corner. The right-handed hitter didn't try to kill the ball; he just put a good inside-out swing on it and lined it down the right-field line for a double.

In the second at-bat, Sands hit a sacrifice fly deep to right field, showing his all-fields power.

The rookie struck out in his final two at-bats, but that is to be expected after he whiffed 123 times in the minors last season. A .294 career hitter in 955 minors at-bats, Sands is far from a one-dimensional slugger, but expect the big league jump to eat into his batting average a bit. He'll probably hit somewhere between .250 and .270 initially.

In time, Sands has the skills to be a complete .280-25-90 middle-of-the-order hitter. This year, though, he has a chance to club 15 to 20 homers and be a candidate for the NL Rookie of the Year.

Sands should play a lot because the Dodgers need his bat and he brings some versatility with the glove. The Dodgers' current left field options (Tony Gwynn Jr., Marcus Thames) are reserve outfield types, and he could get some first base starts to spell James Loney, especially against a tough left-hander.

Sands is worth an add in any format if you have a spot on the bench to spare. He's starting material in NL-only leagues.

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About Chris Hadorn

Chris Hadorn has covered minor league and amateur prospects for more than a decade. He writes for San Diego's North County Times and has been a KFFL fantasy baseball contributor since 2006.


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