Jerry Sands was supposed to be the next great Dodgers power hitter, but now… (Roy Dabner / EPA )
JERRY SANDS, 25, outfielder
Final 2012 stats: .174 batting average, two doubles, one RBI, one walk, nine strikeouts in just 23 at-bats.
Contract status: Now belongs to the Pirates.
The good: Had a second strong offensive season — at triple-A Albuquerque (.296, 26 homers, 107 RBI in 452 at-bats).
The bad: Thus far has been unable to translate his triple-A game to the majors, though he received almost zero chance last season.
What’s next: Should receive better playing opportunity with the Pirates.
The take: It was hard not to want Sands to succeed. He was big, fairly fast and friendly, and Manager Don Mattingly thought he was a Matt Holiday in the making. Plus with the system otherwise almost devoid of power prospects, there was a need for him to make it. Or at least to believe in it.
He enjoyed a strong September call-up in 2011 (.343, with 4.13 on-base and .493 slugging percentages), but otherwise never really looked comfortable at the major-league level.
His combined stats for parts of the last two seasons were less than impressive (.244/.325/.376) though he’s still only had 251 total plate appearances. The Dodgers seemed to have made their minds up about him when he spent most of last season at Albuquerque and then was included in the package sent to Boston in the Adrian Gonzalez blockbuster.
He never took a swing for the Red Sox, having been traded last month to Pittsburgh in the six-player deal for closer Joel Hanrahan. Sands is no kid anymore, needs to deliver on his potential and should get a better chance with the Pirates. There was no room for Sands in the rebuilt Dodgers, built to win now.
He always looked slightly awkward and stiff at the plate to me, and although he showed some power to the opposite field, never could pull the ball. Hopefully it works out for him in Pittsburgh, but Jerry Sands the next great Dodgers power hitter, never did happen.
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