2011 Fantasy Baseball Profile: Will Pablo Sandoval Bounce Back?

Mar 1, 2011

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Pablo Sandoval was one of the most disappointing players in all of baseball last year. He went from posting a .330-79-25-90-5 line to a .268-61-13-63-3 one. His slugging percentage dropped from .556 to .409, his OPS from .943 to .732. In short, it was a disaster. Sure, he won a World Series ring, but that did no give his fantasy owners any solace.
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Things should turn around for Kung Fu Panda in 2011 though. He has lost nearly 40 pounds in the offseason. He is by no means a scrawny little thing, but losing that weight should pay big dividends. He should be quicker on the basepaths. He should be much better at avoiding fatigue. He’s still has enough mass to hit for power.
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Not only did he lose a bunch of weight, but he should be more sound mentally and emotionally. Last year Panda went through a bitter divorce. It’s hard to measure how much of a toll it took, but Sandoval struggled with it. Shortly after the divorce was final, Panda had easily his best month of the season. He hit .312 in August with six home runs and 16 RBI.
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His struggles would return in September as he hit .207, but I’m convinced he’ll be more prepared mentally and physically in 2011. He also worked with Barry Bonds this winter to improve his approach at the plate. Say what you want about Barry, but he was one of the fiercest batters in baseball history.
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You won’t have to use as early a pick on Panda either this year. His average draft position, according to Mock Draft Central, is 139, which is 12th highest among third basemen. Given that the position is so shallow, getting a player who can hit .300+ with 20+ HRs in the 12th round is an absolute steal.
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There are few players that can bounce back as far as Panda can. I’m sold on the rebound. How about you?
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