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