Tuesday, November 25, 2014

2015 Bill James Projection: Pablo Sandoval

2011: 117 games, .315 BA, .357 OBP, .552 SLG, 23 HR, 70 RBI
2012 projection: 144 games, .311 BA, .363 OBP, .525 SLG, 24 HR, 86 RBI
2012: 108 games, .283 BA, .342 OBP, .447 SLG, 12 HR, 63 RBI
2013 projection: 150 games, .298 BA, .356 OBP, .498 SLG, 22 HR, 88 RBI
2013: 141 games, .278 BA, .341 OBP, .417 SLG, 14 HR, 79 RBI
2014 projection: 140 games, .292 BA, .354 OBP, .466 SLG, 18 HR, 81 RBI
2014: 157 games, .279 BA, .324 OBP, .415 SLG, 16 HR, 73 RBI
2015 projection: 151 games, .287 BA, .344 OBP, .447 SLG, 18 HR, 82 RBI

I don't know about any of you, but when I was watching the World Series this year, the idea that the Red Sox would go after - and then sign! - Pablo Sandoval never even crossed my mind. I took it as a matter of course that he would return to the Giants, but I'm thrilled to have been wrong.

The man they call Panda will be in Boston for the foreseeable future, as the deal has been reported at 5 years/$100 million. While I know there are people concerned about the length of the deal, I am not one of them: Sandoval is currently 28 years old, and will be just 33 at the end of this contract - well within the lifespan of an elite hitter.

There's plenty of speculation that Sandoval has been brought into the fold to take David Ortiz's place as a full time DH when the lefthanded legend calls it a career. Obviously, Red Sox fans will always have a special place in our hearts for Ortiz, but the comparison with Sandoval isn't too out there.

Panda is the kind of player who typically has good production during the regular season, but absolutely explodes when the pressure is on. Over three World Series, Sandoval batted .426 with 3 HR, 8 RBI, and a WS MVP Award. For comparison, Ortiz's line is .455 with 3 HR, 14 RBI, and 2 WS MVP Awards.

Personally, I can't wait to see the two of them sharing a lineup; as a guy who thrives in high-stakes situations, the pressure cooker of Boston should suit Sandoval nicely.

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