Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pablo Sandoval's Bounce Back Season

San Francisco Giants Pablo Sandoval connects for a single during the sixth inning of their National League MLB baseball game against the San Diego Padres in San Diego April 5, 2011. REUTERS/Denis Poroy (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Pablo Sandoval has had an interesting start to his career. In 2009 he emerged on the scene as incredibly gifted bad ball hitter who has the season progressed developed a bit of an eye and some decent pop. After the excellent first full season he followed that up with an impressive first month before falling into a major slump that he couldn't pull him self out of.

He had gone from the guy to a spot starter in the span of 18 months, gained a good 30-40 pounds and people were questioning if he was just a flash in the pan.

This season after becoming truly dedicated to his off season workouts he looked on track to return to his 2009 form. Below is his wOBA for each season by game:

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You can see that his season started fairly similarly to last year with the big first month and then a drop off, the big difference is this year the drop off can be explained that he was coming back from having a useless bone in his hand removed.

It appears that it took him a few weeks to get back in the swing of things but once he has well he went off on a 17 game hitting streak where he has put up a .324/ .346/ .568 line with 9 doubles and 3 home runs. In his last 11 games he has hit an extra base hit in 10 of them and in this stretch he is hitting a robust .360/ .396/ .720 with 9 doubles and 3 home runs.

The other great positives to point to are that his power numbers have rebounded, this year his isolated power is up to .202 from .140, his HR/fly ball is up to 12.7% from 7.0%. The other encouraging sign is that even though his strikeout rate has gone up a touch this season his contact rate has also slightly gone up from his previous years.

Sandoval looks to be back, and man do the Giants need him to be producing.

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