Pablo Sandoval, also known as the “Kung-Fu Panda”, has his work cut out for him this 2011 season.
After the Giants World Series win, the Kung-Fu Panda was warned by General Manager Brian Sabean to shed some pounds or he would be playing some minor league baseball again. At the time, I thought this publicly know statement was a little too and dramatic, but it seems like Brian Sabean hit the nail on the head.
Pablo Sandoval has impressed the Giants organization, the fans and even a majority of Major League Baseball analysts by shedding somewhere between a reported, “17 to 22 pounds.”
This new and improved Pablo will be able to get his hips around on the ball quicker than this past season thus producing more power for this otherwise quiet line-up.
Not only do I predict to see a dramatic increase in his offensive numbers this season, but also defensively. I expect Pablo, being 17 to 22 pounds lighter, to show a lot more range this season along with more accurate throwing now that he has trimmed himself down.
Last year Pablo put up a .268/.323/.409 (AVG/OBP/SLG) line, which, if not compared to his 2009 season (.330/.387/.556), wouldn’t look as depressing. Pablo struggled this past season with finding a consistent swing from both sides of the box. It looked as if he was too out of shape to be on the field 6 out of 7 days of the week.
In the earlier games, his swing looked compact and controlled, but later on in the season, his swing started to look sloppy and just plain bad. Also, he struggled to find his power, hitting only 13 homeruns, 34 doubles and 63 RBIs.
One thing you would always hear broadcasters saying was, “He’s got to go back to the fundamentals. He is just trying to do too much out there.” Well that is true, the fundamentals of baseball both offensively and defensively are the first things you forget to do when you get tired out on the field.
So, drum rolls please, my prediction for the Kung-Fu Panda, Pablo Sandoval for the 2011 Major League Baseball season is…
.322 Batting average
.356 On-Base %
.560 Slugging %
28 Home runs
This piece was written by Contributer Ty.