That’s right, our man Jerry Sands, the slugging prospect who could never quite take with the Dodgers, is on the move again.
He is clearly still intriguing to many.
Sands, part of the group sent by the Dodgers to the Red Sox in the blockbuster trade for Adrian Gonzalez in August, has reportedly been dealt from Boston to Pittsburgh as part of a six-player deal for right-handed closer Joel Hanrahan.
Lost amid the big names in the deal, the trading of Sands received scant attention. Sands had been the Dodgers’ one slugging prospect, partially because of his minor league success – he’s averaged 30 homers and 96 RBI the past three seasons – and partially by default.
The Dodgers really haven’t produced a true power prospect in years, and desperate for someone to tag as a star, everyone almost desperately wanted to believe in Sands, their minor league player of the year in 2010.
But it really never happened for Sands with the Dodgers. The first time he was called up in 2011, he hit just .200, with .294 on-base and .328 slugging percentages. He looked more like the guy the Dodgers were hoping for in a September call-up (.343/.413/.493), but by then minds might have been made up.
Despite his power, he had trouble pulling the ball and looks somewhat stiff at the plate. He has good speed and a strong arm, but never could break through. Last year he was only up briefly, with four hits in 23 at-bats (.174). After the trade to the Red Sox as a player to be named, he had to remain on the triple-A Albuquerque roster the rest of the season until the deal was completed.
Only now he heads to Pittsburgh before ever playing an inning at any level for the Red Sox. Sands has been called a Matt Holliday-type player, and if that’s a highly optimistic view, he is still just 25 and has time.
Hanrahan, a player the Dodgers reportedly had some interest in, was able to attract four minor-league prospects in the deal that includes one Pirates prospect. He saved 36 games last season for Pittsburgh.
With the Pirates, perhaps Sands gets a chance to blossom. He can play the outfield and first, is a good kid and wants to succeed, so all the best to him. With the Dodgers, though, it had become difficult to see it ever happening.