Oct 12, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval hits a double against the St. Louis Cardinals during the sixth inning in game two of the 2014 NLCS playoff baseball game at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Sandoval looked well on his way to superstardom after posting a .943 OPS in his first full season as a 22 year old in 2009, but unfortunately that hope has not quite panned out. While Sandoval isn’t exactly a stud third baseman, however, he has developed into a consistently solid option at the hot corner in San Francisco. He posted a .279/.324/.415 slash line in 2014, a 111 OPS+ taking into account the not-so-friendly confines of AT&T Park, but despite that solid production this season, there are concerns over Panda’s future.
The first of those concerns is right on the surface with Sandoval: his weight. The Giants have exhorted Sandoval to lose some weight, but the 5’11”, 245 pound third baseman’s weight just hasn’t changed much since entering the league. That’s not a problem right now but players with Sandoval’s body type typically don’t age well and, with Sandoval expected to receive a contract of at least five years, that’s a potentially frightening possibility.
Also, considering the contract that Sandoval is likely to receive this offseason, Sandoval just isn’t that good. Despite Sandoval being smack dab in the middle of his prime, his OPS has declined in each of the past four seasons and that’s a concerning trend for a player of his age, whose numbers should be moving in exactly the opposite direction.
Moving to the Red Sox and Fenway Park would have a positive effect on his statistics but, with his weight and recent performance trends, I don’t like Sandoval’s chances to live up to his contract, especially with recent speculation that Kung Fu Panda could receive over $100M in free agency.