San Francisco Giants fans need to get excited because Pablo Sandoval, "Little Money" as Duane Kuiper nicknamed him, will be entering his first full season in 2009.
While he earned the nickname because of his similarity of size to fellow teammate Bengie Molina, there is every reason to believe that Sandoval, not Molina, will lead the Giants in every major offensive category.
If its any indication his batting average in spring training games this season is well over .400 and although he is a free swinger he makes contact almost all the time.
Now still at the raw age of 22, it would seem that as much as he swings at pitches his strikeouts would rack up. But in his 145 ABs in the 2008 season he struck out just 14 times.
Sandoval should remind Giants fans of Albert Pujols and Vladamir Guerrero in terms of plate coverage. No matter what or where you throw at them they will find some way to hit the ball into play.
Will Sandoval produce Pujols and Guerrero numbers this year? Probably not, but Giants fans should note that this kid has the potential to possibly be a great hitter and one of baseball's best hitters for years to come.
Just imagine Sandoval a few years from now as he matures and becomes more selective at what he swings at—scary right?
Now weight seems to be the problem with Sandoval because he is 245 pounds at third base. Mobility is a must there and if he wants to continue to play third base it is imperative that he shed the pounds.
Other than that "Little Money" could be a surprise hit this year and if all goes well he could take the Giants offense closer to respectability in the Majors.