How long will Dodger fans have to wait for Jerry Sands to arrive

Enter Sandman


Sorry Dodger Nation Lasorda’ Lair took a much needed personal day yesterday, our first in over 3 weeks to attend to some personal matters. Not like there was much to discuss about the Dodgers 2-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians. It’s ironic in that the Dodgers managed a measly 2 hits vs the vaunted (insert sarcasm) Indians pitching staff. For, it was the ledgendary Bob Uecker, in the classic baseball film Major League, as the play by play man for the Indians who uttered the famous phrase “2 beep beep hits, that’s all they managed was 2 beep beep hits…Don’t worry nobody’s listening anyway.”

About the only bright spot, aside from Chad Billingsley’s 3 solid innings pitched, was the long Home Run hit by top Dodgers hitting prospect Jerry Sands. Sands the 6’4 225 pound country strong 1B/OF was the 757th player selected in the 2008 draft. To say he’s made a rapid rise through the system would be an understatement.

His 2008 numbers did little to impress, batting a mere .205, yet he hit 10 HR’s in only 46 games. 2009 was when he really began to show his true potential. After tearing apart Rookie Ball pitching as a member of the Ogden Raptors, who by the way reside a mere 45 miles North of my abode, Sands was sent to Low A where he hit .260 with 5 HR and 19 RBI in 32 games, finishing the year with 19 homers in only 73 games.

He began 2010 back at Great Lakes and got off to a torrid start, hitting .333 with 18 HR’s and 46 RBI in only 69 games, yet scouts claimed he was too advanced age wise for Low A ball, he was after all 22 years old. This after he was named MVP of the Midwest League All-Star game, a game in which he homered, and won the HR Derby the night prior.

Well the Dodgers knew they had something special so after his All-Star game heroics they had him skip High A Rancho Cucamonga and promoted him to AA Chattanooga. The jump in competition certainly didn’t slow down the man dubbed The Sandman, by his team mates, at all. He more than held his own, homering 3 times in his first 4 games to begin his AA career and never looked back. He would finish the season with 35 HR, 2nd most in all of the minor leagues, and earn an invite to the prospect rich competitive Arizona Fall League. He again performed admirably, this time under the watchful eye of new Dodger Manager Don Mattingly.

Sands projects as an everyday Left Fielder with a decent arm and decent range, his bat however is what will get him to, and keep him in, the big leagues sooner than later. He’s also a good enough athlete that the Dodgers tried him out at 1st base and he picked it right up. This versatility and his propensity to hit the long ball are traits that have Dodger Fans, this one included, drooling.

Dodger GM Ned Colletti has been asked about Sands in numerous trade proposals, and fortunately he has held on to him. Colletti admitted to ESPN in an article last month that the JayMarcony ThameGwibbons experiment in LF is a 1 year deal. That he realizes Sands is close to big league ready and he did not go after a long term solution in LF so he wouldn’t block Sands from manning LF full-time in 2012. Considering Sands has already out homered the LF3 (Gwynn, Thames, Gibbons) so far this spring, here’s a novel idea. Give the 23 year old, who carries himself like a 10 year vet the job NOW.

Suppose Sands keeps producing all spring and out plays the 3 1 yr journeymen aka the LF3. Sands walked twice and scored in 2 plate appearances today Ned is on record saying he doesn’t want to block Sands or Trayvon Robinson from being full-time starters next year. However he’s essentially blocking them this year by signing the LF3. And does anyone expect anything but mediocrity from the LF3,aside from some miracle happening. Isn’t Dodger Nation better served by seeing Sands develop on the job now vs wasting a year of him dominating the High Altitude Pacific Coast League? Sure I’d like to see Sands hit 40 HR in a league in which balls fly out of parks like rockets, but I’d rather see the teams future now than the LF3 who are all so average in their own special way. You think I’m pessimistic check out TJ Simers over at the LA Times and see how he feels about the state of the Dodgers. Someone get that man some anti-depressants.

Still not convinced, then check out this great video courtesy of Tony Jackson at ESPN Los Angeles To me it’s a no brainer start the chant like in the 2nd Bad News Bears movie “Let them (Sands or Robinson) Play…Let them Play! Easy for me to say I’m not the guy who signed 3 career journeymen to guaranteed Major League Contracts worth potentially 3 million dollars. That right there, money, is why Dodger Nation will have to wait until September or a series of  inuries to see their LF of the future, but just maybe the 25th round pick no one believed in hits 7 or 8 more HR’s this spring and forces the Dodgers to keep him. If you listen to Sands in the video he plans on making his Major League debut in 2011, I for one hope its in March and not September.

For more info on Sands check out this great article by our friends at True Blue LA.

In the words of the immortal Heavy Metal band Metallica “The Sandman he comes” and hopefully for Dodger fans “It’s off to never never land

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Tags: Chad Billingsley Don Mattingly Jerry Sands Los Angeles Dodgers Trayvon Robinson

  • KR

    Great article Kenny. I’m another one that would love to see Trayvon or Jerry in LF in March and not Sept. In all likelihood, out of our LF3 I would think that Gwynn is the odd guy out. We have Xavier Paul as the defensive replacement. And if Thames can hit at all, he’s our RH bat off the bench. From a money standpoint, it makes sense now to keep them in the minors(arbitration doesn’t start). And we’re not paying a whole lot for our LFers anyways. Keep in mind, the Braves wanted to wait for the arbitration date on a guy like Jason Heyward. But they had a need and he was ready so they couldn’t ignore him. I’m with you though man…I want either of these guys playing this year. Hope they continue to play well!

  • http://dodgers.gearupforsports.com Chris Peery

    I love a great story and to me bringing him up now and giving him a chance to make a difference in the line up makes sense over the other options. But you’re right the money will be the real block to him coming up, unless of course he keeps hitting home runs this spring.

  • http://www.feelinkindablue.com Dustin Nosler

    Nice write-up on Sands. I’m very high on this kid, as he’s my No. 1 prospect heading into the season. His two plate appearances yesterday were impressive — especially the second one. Not to mention the home run he hit the day before.

    His power and willingness to drive the ball to all fields is the most encouraging. His K rate needs to decrease and he needs to settle on a position, but that won’t happen until he’s called up. My money is on him supplanting Loney at 1B next year.

    Can’t wait to see him in Triple-A when the ‘Topes come ’round my way.

    • Kenny Shulsen

      Thanks Dustin, he just missed a HR to RF yesterday was about 10 feet foul and a little short. His 2nd AB he was down in the count early and fouled off a bunch of pitches to get a walk, great approach for a younster.

  • Dodger Fan since 1950

    The Dodgers are not projected to ‘run away’ with the National league west – so why not get Sands in early and see how he develops – if he struggles, he can go to AAA and work out the kinks. Look at Willie Mays, he struggled big time when he first came up – but ‘The Lip’ stayed with him and he had a pretty good career. Stick Sands ahead of a couple of your best hitters so they have to pitch to him and see what happens – after all – what have the Dodgers got to lose!

  • Kenny Shulsen

    Great point nice to hear an old school Dodger fans perspective. But unless Sands keeps mashing I fear we are in for a season like last year where the Dodgers knew their SP was shakey along with their bullpen and just dealt with it. Well they’ve addressed those weaknesses now but this year it will be LF, the LF3 as I call them will be remarkably average all year, Thames will maybe hit 10 HR, and the problem could have been solved all along by giving Sands the job. The Yankees did it with Jeter, the Rockies did it with Carlos Gonzalez. Stick the kid out there and let him play he will give you just as good of numbers as Gibbons/Gwynn combined and can play 1B to rest Loney against lefties with Thames in LF. Sorry I ramble but stuff like this fires me up.

  • James

    Dodger fans are turning out to be pitiful. Sands hits a hr off an average minor league pitchers and we get excited and call him to the bigs. Anyone remember what happened to Mench and Blaylock, Shelton, or Francouer? Sands needs AAA. He needs to see well located fastballs, and off speed pitches that are late breaking and low in the zone. Then he might be able to adjust to the pitchers as they will adjust to him. GSPFM

  • Kenny Shulsen

    Kemp went straight from AA to the Dodgers. What does GSPFM mean? I understand your concerns however, Sands is much better than Mench, Blaylock, Shelton etc…
    For example

    When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night he checks his closet for Jerry Sands

    Yesterday Jerry Sands hit a ball so hard in BP that the ball broke the speed of light, went back in time, and killed Amelia Earhart while she was flying over the Pacific Ocean and finally

    When Jerry Sands falls in water, Jerry Sands doesn’t get wet. Water gets Jerry Sands.

  • James

    You have a man crush on Kemp. He has super star potential there is no doubt but using star analogy. Like a shooting star, he is pretty but like the star it is burning up before it or he does anything significant.

  • Kenny Shulsen

    No love for my Jerry Sands/Amelia Earhart comment?

    As for Kemp I admit to my man crush but was strictly reporting facts about his call up to the show.

  • James

    Let all pray that Sands is good because we need anything and everything that deals with hitting. Mattingly should be denied batting cage privileges