The Joel Hanrahan Trade: Jerry Sands

This is part III of my analysis of the Joel Hanrahan trade. You can find my opinion of Joel Hanrahan here and opinion of Mark Melancon here.  This article will examine Jerry Sands.

Sands, a corner outfielder/first baseman, is a power hitting first baseman with good walk rates and scary strikeout rates in the high minors.  In the last two years, at AAA in the Dodgers organization, he put up a .278/.344/.586 line at age 24 and a .296/.375/.524 line at age 25.  He accomplished this, unfortunately, in the notoriously hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.  Those years represent wRC+s* of 119 and 130 respectively.  Those are good, not great numbers from a player of his age.

In 2011, he got 227 plate appearances with the Dodgers and put up a .253/.338/.389 line for a 108 wRC+.*  That bodes well for his future success. Also, his walk rate in the minors has hovered around 10%, which is solid.

Less promising is the fact that he is a right-handed batter who derives much of his value from hitting for power.  Left field at PNC Park is cavernous, and is brutal for right-handed pull hitters.  In 2011, PNC Park was the second-worst park to hit a home run in for right-handed batters.

Overall, I think that Sands is a player that has a chance of turning into a valuable player and should be at least useful at the present time as a bat off the bench or the short-half of a platoon.  I do not think that he is a type of player that is all too hard to find, however.

His market value, I think, is not that high.  In an article evaluating the mega-trade between the Dodgers and Red Sox that Sands was included in, he is talked about only for a paragraph.  He is not meant to be the centerpiece of this trade. As a throw-in, Sands is fine.  Don’t expect him to be too much more than that.

*wRC+ measures a player’s offensive performance compared to the league average, and takes park effects into account.

**all stats from FanGraphs

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