2011 Season in Review: Pablo Sandoval

Year   Age  Tm Lg   G  PA  AB  R   H 2B 3B HR BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
2011    24 SFG NL 117 466 426 55 134 26  3 23 32 63 .315 .357 .552 .909  153

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/20/2011.

I’ll be brief, because I already somewhat reviewed Pablo Sandoval’s season; but for the purpose of completeness (as I attempt to tackle roughly 40 player reviews), and because I really enjoyed watching Pablo this season, I’ll dedicate a few more words to him.

The gist of the aforementioned post:

  • Sandoval was stellar on offense, perhaps the only Giants player for whom that can be said.
  • Sandoval was stellar on defense as well, which came as a very pleasant surprise.
  • For these reasons, Sandoval was (pretty much undoubtedly) the Giants’ most valuable player this season.

There’s something I’d like to add though, something that I don’t think I’ve emphasized enough. Pablo Sandoval is 25 years old, and he justĀ turned 25 in August. This means, technically, that 2011 qualifies as his “age-24 season.” And this is what really makes Sandoval special: before turning 25, he’s already notched a couple fantastic seasons under his belt.

To illustrate this…

Giants players with at least two seasons of 4+ rWAR before turning 25:

Rk Yrs From To Age
1 Mel Ott 5 1929 1933 20-24 Ind. Seasons
2 Travis Jackson 3 1926 1928 22-24 Ind. Seasons
3 Frankie Frisch 3 1921 1923 22-24 Ind. Seasons
4 Ross Youngs 3 1919 1921 22-24 Ind. Seasons
5 Pablo Sandoval 2 2009 2011 22-24 Ind. Seasons
6 Will Clark 2 1987 1988 23-24 Ind. Seasons
7 Jack Clark 2 1978 1980 22-24 Ind. Seasons
8 Bobby Bonds 2 1969 1970 23-24 Ind. Seasons
9 Jim Ray Hart 2 1964 1966 22-24 Ind. Seasons
10 Orlando Cepeda 2 1960 1961 22-23 Ind. Seasons
11 Willie Mays 2 1954 1955 23-24 Ind. Seasons
12 Freddie Lindstrom 2 1928 1930 22-24 Ind. Seasons
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/20/2011.

 

And third basemen with at least two seasons of 4+ rWAR before turning 25:

Rk Yrs From To Age
1 Eddie Mathews 4 1953 1956 21-24 Ind. Seasons
2 David Wright 3 2005 2007 22-24 Ind. Seasons
3 Scott Rolen 3 1997 1999 22-24 Ind. Seasons
4 George Brett 3 1975 1977 22-24 Ind. Seasons
5 Dick Allen 3 1964 1966 22-24 Ind. Seasons
6 Pablo Sandoval 2 2009 2011 22-24 Ind. Seasons
7 Evan Longoria 2 2009 2010 23-24 Ind. Seasons
8 Troy Glaus 2 2000 2001 23-24 Ind. Seasons
9 Robin Ventura 2 1991 1992 23-24 Ind. Seasons
10 Jim Ray Hart 2 1964 1966 22-24 Ind. Seasons
11 Ron Santo 2 1963 1964 23-24 Ind. Seasons
12 George Kell 2 1946 1947 23-24 Ind. Seasons
13 Harlond Clift 2 1936 1937 23-24 Ind. Seasons
14 Freddie Lindstrom 2 1928 1930 22-24 Ind. Seasons
15 Rogers Hornsby 2 1916 1919 20-23 Ind. Seasons
16 Home Run Baker 2 1909 1910 23-24 Ind. Seasons
17 Bill Bradley 2 1901 1902 23-24 Ind. Seasons
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/20/2011.

 

It’s pretty rare, and it’s something that should be recognized in Sandoval. He’s in company with quite a few remarkable players.

I’ll preface this by noting that all players age differently, but it’s pretty nice to see that Sandoval’s career path is starting to look like that of some of the very good third basemen in recent MLB history…

Source: FanGraphsTroy Glaus, Robin Ventura, Edgardo Alfonzo

He’s oft-scrutinized (whether it be for his weight, his plate discipline, etc.), but he’s done mighty fine things thus far, and he was the only consistent performer at the plate for the Giants in 2011. I’d love to see him take home a Silver Slugger and a Gold Glove award for his efforts, and furthermore, I can’t wait to watch him continue to blossom as a ballplayer. He’s extremely talented.

2 thoughts on “2011 Season in Review: Pablo Sandoval

  1. Wow! Glaus, Alfonso and Chavez were all done by age 30. Love what Pablo is doing. I think the Giants should go year-to-year during his arbitration years and see if his dedication to conditioning is sustained. I would be very leery of a big dollar long term contract for him.

    • I would be content with buying out his arb years + a few FA years on a five or six-year extension at… something like $10MM per yr. Maybe make the last couple years generous team options.

      …if that at all sounds realistic.

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