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Last Sunday on Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, Brad Evans’ “Weekly Rundown” column highlighted Florida Marlins catcher John Baker. I immediately took notice due to some catcher troubles I have been having in a few of my leagues. In two of my three leagues, I made a bold and stupid decision to draft San Francisco 3B Pablo Sandoval (also qualifies at catcher and first base). I did this based on Sandoval’s late season call-up in 2008 when he hit .345 in 41 games. His September was incredibly good with a .315 average and 20 RBI.
The catcher position is incredibly shallow, so I figured I would jump on a good hitter with catcher eligibility. Now here we are less than two weeks into the fantasy season and I have taken the advice of Brad Evans and have picked up John Baker. This of course meant I dropped Sandoval without hesitation.
I should have known better. First off, I should have realized that Sandoval would not have the ability to sustain a .345 average over the course of an entire season. So in that kind of situation, you would have to fall back on a player’s power. What power? Even though he hit .345 in his limited time, he only hit three HR. Plus, add to that the fact that he plays half of his games at AT&T Park and you have a recipe for disaster (two of his three HR came on the road). Don’t even mention the walks. Sandoval only walked four times in 41 games last season.
According to everything I read, Sandoval was slated to bat third in the Giants’ lineup. As it stands now, Sandoval is batting fifth and is not producing at all. He is currently hitting .179 with 0 HR and 0 RBI. He has walked once and struck out seven times in eight games. I am sorry, but the tendency to hack at everything and the inability to walk just means that nothing good can come of Pablo Sandoval. I may be jumping the gun here, but I am sick of seeing 0-3, 0-2, 0-4, etc. every night.
Taking Evans’s advice, I picked up Florida’s John Baker and he has paid off immediate dividends. Since I acquired him, he has given me four hits and three RBI. Plus, he has a plush spot in the Marlins’ batting order hitting second in front of Hanley Ramirez.
Sandoval was seen as a sleeper and late round steal on draft day, but I just feel in my heart that he will be a tremendous disappointment in 2009. I’ve been wrong before, but I doubt I will be this time.