Why Pablo Sandoval's Early Numbers Are Misleading

patrick pContributor IMay 3, 2010

Pablo Sandoval is a good player and a breath of fresh air. He's fun to watch play, and he is easy to like.

People are talking about his .337 batting average ("He can flat-out hit," says Dan Plesac of MLB.com).

Future Hall of Famer? It is too soon to tell.

One thing is sure, though: The numbers beneath the numbers say that Sandoval is much closer to adequate than spectacular.

Sure he can hit. With nobody on base and nobody out, Sandoval is hitting .818 (9-for-11). In fact, 20 of his 32 hits have come with the bases empty, including two of his three home runs.

Not only is he unproductive with runners on base, he is counterproductive. Sandoval has grounded into eight double plays.

If you adjust his batting average to reflect that statistic (charging a player two at-bats for GIDP and effectively making two outs), his average drops to .311 (by the way, that stat should be standard; if you cause two outs, you get two ABs. It would be similar to the sacrifice rule where you don't get charged an AB).

Sandoval is 0-for-8 with RISP and two out. He has not been clutch. He has not really been a factor in the early-season success of the Giants . His batting average has made himself look better but not the team.

I am fairly certain that Sandoval will get his clutch hits and win some games for the Giants this year, but he really hasn't done so yet.

Let's just hold off on the Hall of Fame induction for a while. "Clutch" is the ticket to Cooperstown.

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