The FantasyFix.com is proud to present our final fantasy baseball roundtable of the 2010 Major League Baseball season. We asked eight prominent voices in the fantasy sports industry the following question:
As the conclusion of the 2010 Major League Baseball regular season approaches, identify one batter that you are keeping close tabs on, in anticipation of the 2011 season. Briefly describe their 2010, why you are keeping tabs, and what you expect from them in the 2011 season?
Pablo Sandoval | 3B | San Francisco Giants
Coming into the year, Sandoval was going off the board as a top-30 option in many drafts.
At this point, he isn't even a top-30 infield option in the National League. At the same time, I think his down season this year leaves him as a player who will make a great bargain next season.
After all, Pablo still owns a three-year average of about .310-20-85-80 with a .850 OPS per 162 games played, and those numbers will play in any league.
So why the struggles this season?
His walk rate is slightly down, as is his K-rate, and the resulting 0.59 K/BB mark is virtually identical to his 0.63 mark from last season. Pablo also is sporting a 1.20 GB/FB mark that is right in line with his 1.25 career rate, so the type of ball he has hit hasn't changed much at all.
The real issue this season has been an erosion of his line-drive rate, which has led to a .050 point drop in his BABIP mark. A little bit better luck next season, and a few more line drives should allow him to once again hit over .300.
The biggest issue for the Kung Fu Panda though might be his willingness to take care of his body. Only 24 years old, Sandoval reminds me of a 34-year-old Mo Vaughn—and that's not a fattering, I mean flattering, comparison.
If Pablo dedicates himself to an offseason regimen to get his body in shape, he'll be primed to be a solid bargain on draft day in 2011.