Say what you will about the Panda, but he has a knack for showing up at the most appropriate of times. Even in 2010, when Pablo was essentially regulated to the bench, it was his ringing double that sparked a major Giants rally, launching then orange and black on their way to an eventual World Series victory.
A few years removed from his struggles and the Panda looked fantastic, despite gaining some of the weight back he lost in his wonderful 2011 season. Unfortunately for Sandoval, the Panda just can’t seem to stay on the field as in the last two seasons he’s dealt with freaky hand injuries that derailed numbers that, in a full seasons time, would be in MVP discussions. Many of course, will remember Sandoval’s 2012 campaign for his three homerun night in Game 1 of the World Series, but his season was so much more than that.
His lack of power can be contributed to the hamate injuries as those breaks zap the power from a swing for a few months at the least, but as Sandoval showed the world – the power returned during the Giants’ postseason run where Pablo hammered six round trippers and five doubles in just 16 games – an impressive feat.
A mid-Summer slump from Pablo dropped his average from .300 to .275 in a matter of a few weeks, but Pablo recovered to a .291 average before settling at .286 as the season came to a close. Of course, his postseason was of historic proportions that shamed his already impressive regular season.
The injury hurt his overall regular season numbers and the weight gain made the feet a little less nimble than before, but still, it was more than just a solid season for everybody’s favorite Panda. It wasn’t at a Buster Posey type level, but it was still damn impressive.
Season Grade: A-