2011 Dodgers Player Profile: Jerry Sands

Jerry Sands
Birthdate - 09/28/1987
Height / Weight - 6'4 / 225
Bats / Throws - R/R
Drafted in the 25th round, 2008
from Catawba College

The Sandman has the honor of being the TBLA number one prospect heading into 2011 as voted on by you. No one made a bigger climb up the Dodger prospect charts then this Catawba College in North Carolina alumni

Players like Jerry Sands made writing the the minor league updates last season fun, as he put up comic book numbers for the Loons before being moved up to AA.  We at TBLA seem to like Sands more then most, as every other prospect site has Dee Gordon listed above him.

Jerry Sands was recently the focus of a FanPost over at  Minor League Ball.

Most scouts/analysts (other then Keith Law)  think he will hit at the major league level, the question is how much will he hit, and when he does play, where will he play?  His defense was in question by some scouts. We heard he can't play the outfield but Hugh Bernreuter who watched him play over 100 games for the Loons had this to say about his defense:

He was a plus-glove in the outfield and first base. He has a good arm in the outfield.

Hugh had this to say about his bat:

In the four years the Great Lakes Loons have been in existence, I have not seen any hitter (Lambo, Josh Bell, Kyle Russell, etc.) hit the ball as consistently hard as Sands. Everything was a line drive. His homers were just longer line drives. He hit to all fields. He drew walks. He hit well at Dow Diamond.

Others however don't think he can be a net positive on the defensive side of the ball if he's playing the outfield. Keith Law has compared Jerry Sands to Billy Ashley, the home run hitting, strike out king, defensive albatross, major league failure of the 1990's. Funny thing about Ashley he actually had a career OPS+ of 95 in 688 major league appearances. That ain't bad for a guy considered such a bust. Reed Johnson has a career OPS+ of 94 in over 3,000 plate appearances.

Brandon has already done the  heavy lifting on Sands so I hope you don't mind if I post what he has already written from his Top 10 report. I 'll leave out where he sits on Brandon's list:

To say Jerry Sands came out of nowhere in 2010 is a bit of an exaggeration since he’s shown tremendous power dating back to his college days.  During his 3 years at Catawba College in North Carolina, Sands had a .381 career batting average and hit 61 home runs. His power numbers continued during his debut season with the Dodgers as he hit 10 HR’s in just 46 games, and he then smacked 19 bombs in 2009 despite logging just 267 at bats.....  In 2010 Jerry didn’t quite hit 40 jacks, but he did have a monster season as his 35 homers were just one shy of the minor league HR title.  Sands also hit .301 with 18 stolen bases and a .981 OPS despite playing in two pitching friendly leagues, and ended up winning the Dodgers minor league player of the year award.  Scout say that he has power to all fields, above average bat speed, and very strong wrists.  When you look at Sands’ splits between LoA and AA, his batting average, slugging %, and on base % all dropped a bit in Chattanooga, but he had no trouble maintaining his power numbers as he hit 17 homers in just 68 games.  In addition, Sands was able to make decent contact throughout the entire season, and his as his strikeout rate actually decreased 21.3% in LoA to 20.5% in AA.  After the season Sands played in the AFL where he continued to put up very solid stats against the advanced competition.  The big question that people have about Sands relates to his defense.  Is he an outfielder?  1st baseman?  DeJon Watson answered that question by saying that he can play both and that the Dodgers don’t have to limit him.  Watson thinks that Sands’ versatility will help Ned Colletti down the road when he is building his team. "His defense is fine, his base running is fine, and his arm is above average.  Also his approach at the plate has been consistent all year.  However, you can’t put a time table on when he’ll make the big leagues, and it is going to come down to how he continues to progress and when the Dodgers have a need for him. 

Below are the quotes about Sands from the various prospect sites.

John Sickels:

2) Jerry Sands, 1B-OF, Grade B: I think his bat is for real, should be a very productive power hitter. Ranks behind Gordon due to future position value but that is not a knock on Sands.

Baseball Prospectus:

5. Jerry Sands, 1B/OF

The Good: With his performance at Triple-A, Sands has sold scouts on his ability to hit. He has a relatively patient approach to go with a swing that is not only sound, but features considerable power and leverage without the need to pull or load up to hit home runs. He's a good athlete for his size, and can hold his own at both first base and a corner outfield slot.

The Bad: Sands' value lies primarily in his bat, as his size and below-average speed limits him to the right side of the defensive spectrum. Multiple scouts noted how surprisingly bad he can look at times against good breaking balls, and he did strike out 123 times in 137 games.

Baseball HQ:

Ranked 4

Strengths: Plus, plus power. Willingness to take a walk and work counts in his favor. Good mistake hitter. Solid defender at 1B.
Weaknesses: Lack of athleticism. Stiff. High K rate.
Comments: Tall, muscular masher had one of the better seasons of any players in the minors, hitting .301 with 35 home runs. Did much of his damage against slightly younger competition in the MWL and looked more human when moved up the Double-A - but still tons of power. Can drive the ball out of any part of the park and should hit for power in the majors. Unfortunately doesn't do anything else particularly well though he is a solid defender at 1B. Will need to mash to have value. Below average runner, can be stiff at the plate, and limited to 1B. Did steal 14 bases in the MWL, but that will not translate as he moves up. Will need to prove he can repeat this at higher levels.

Trivia

Sands hit 35 home runs in 2010, who was the last Dodger prospect to hit at least 30 home runs in the minor leagues that did not play in AAA that season?

Contract Status

Under team control longer than Frank McCourt will own this team.

Stats

Year Level Age 2B HR Runs RBI BA OBP SLG wOBA
2009 Rookie 21 9 14 41 39 .350 .427 .687 .462
2009 A 21 7 5 22 19 .260 .358 .510 .370
2010 A 22 16 18 48 46 .333 .432 .646 .437
2010 AA 22 12 17 54 47 .279 .360 .529 .373

2011 Outlook

Eric Stephen says that Jerry Sands will not see the major leagues until Sept callups. The Dodgers have no one on the major league roster who can provide offensive pop from the right side for 1st base. Only Marcus Thames and Matt Kemp  provide any offensive pop from the right side for the outfield. If Sands continues to mash in AA/AAA this summer, he might force his way onto the major league roster before Eric's estimation.

What are the TBLA community thoughts on when Jerry Sands makes his major league debut?

When Sands does make his debut, will it be in the outfield or 1st base?

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