Pablo Sandoval could fit with Chicago White Sox
October 23, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval (48) throws the baseball during workouts the day before game three of the 2014 World Series at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
We know the third baseman of the San Francisco Giants – Pablo Sandoval – is very busy right now as he is in the midst of the 2014 World Series, but as soon as the Fall Classic is complete, he’ll become a free agent.
In looking at what he could bring as a 28-year old third baseman on the free agent market, the Chicago White Sox should really try to obtain Sandoval when free agency begins.
Sandoval, 28, has now played in three different World Series, and not only does he have a sweet nickname, “Kung Fu Panda,” but he’s a finalist for a NL Gold Glove and is a two-time World Series champion.
The third baseman could not only play at third for the White Sox, but he has experience at first base, and he could be a potential designated hitter for the White Sox from time to time if he were to become a member of the team.
In the ’14 regular season, Sandoval batted .279 with 26 doubles, three triples and 16 home runs. He drew 39 walks and had an on-base percentage of .324 with a .415 slugging percentage.
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This postseason (12 games), Sandoval has a World Series BA of .444 (two games), and in the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals, he batted .400. Altogether, he has 12 doubles this postseason, with three RBIs and eight runs.
Now let’s compare his ’14 stats to that of current White Sox third baseman Conor Gillaspie.
Aug 24, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; Chicago White Sox third baseman Conor Gillaspie (12) rounds the bases on his home run during the sixth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Gillaspie batted .282 in 130 games this season for the White Sox. In those games, he collected 31 doubles and five triples. He had an on-base percentage of .336 and a slugging percentage of .416.
Every one of those numbers by Gillaspie were higher than Sandoval’s, except the home run numbers, as Sandoval’s home run numbers were just over double the amount by Gillaspie.
In comparing their wins above replacement (WAR), Sandoval was 3.3 in ’14, while Gillaspie had a WAR of 1.5 this past season.
Now the question for White Sox fans is would you rather have the higher BA by Gillaspie or the more home runs that Sandoval has to offer?
I believe the White Sox could function with both on the roster, with one being the third baseman and the other at designated hitter.
But, looking at it closer, Sandoval does have the advantage in the field. This past regular season, Sandoval has a .971 fielding percentage at the hot corner, with 11 errors in 382 chances (1,265.2 innings). He had 89 put outs and 282 assists. He was a part of 27 double plays.
Gillaspie in the field had a percentage of .961 with 12 errors with 307 chances. He finished with 216 assists and was a part of 26 double plays.
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As I stated earlier, the White Sox could function with both of these players. Sandoval would be an upgrade in protecting Abreu in the batting order with his home run numbers.
Sandoval could also be a huge contributor to the White Sox with not just his bat, but his glove and experience in playing in big moments, something the White Sox are lacking on their current roster of players.