Monday, April 6, 2009
After posting a few times about Pablo Sandoval, I was a bit curious to see how he matched up against current Giants catcher Bengie Molina.
Molina spent time at advanced A ball during 2 separate seasons, and played at AA ball during 3 separate seasons, so the first thing I had to do was to determine which years to include in the comparison. Ultimately, I went with the largest sample size closest to the age the Sandoval played at each level. It might not be a perfect approach, but I think it provides a moderate baseline of stats for each player.
Here's their advanced A ball stats.
To keep things short and simple, using these numbers it looks like Sandoval is about 2 years ahead of Molina in terms of power and contact capacity, and about a year behind him in plate discipline.
On to AA stats (Notice that the best numbers I could come up with for Molina at AA ball were before the numbers used for the advanced A comparison. Like I said, Molina went back and forth between levels, so I went with what I felt matched up best).
Once again, Sandoval looks to be much more advanced in the power and contact departments, while falling a bit behind in plate discipline.
So, what does this all mean for Sandoval? Well, Molina has hit in the .275 to .295 range most of his career, with between 15 and 20 home runs a year (he usually averages about 450 to 500 plate appearances a year, so if you stretch his home run total out to 600 to 650 plate appearances you get 20 to 25 home runs a year). Not bad numbers for a catcher, but pretty lousy numbers for a guy who hits in the middle of the order.
If Sandoval gets 600 plate appearances, I think he could hit 20 to 40 points higher than Molina, and hit anywhere from 5 to 15 more home runs per year. That puts him in the .295 to .315 range with 25 to 40 home runs on the high side. That's pretty much in line with my other projections for Sandoval. I'm thinking maybe David Wright without the stolen bases and about half the walks? ...Read more