Jerry Sands was drafted in the 25th round of the 2008 draft by the Dodgers. He signed for a $5,000 signing bonus (Yes, that number is accurate.) He was drafted out of Catawba College.
His Stats So Far (Through Thursday's Games)
Sands looks like a very interesting prospect. Baseball America didn't have him in their top 10 prospects for the Dodgers coming into the season, but he looks like could very well end up there by the end. I have to imagine that a part of the reason that he's not been very highly viewed before was the fact that he actually started the 2009 season at Single A, was demoted back to Rookie ball, before playing his way back to the Midwest League.
Overall, the power seems legitimate. None of the leagues he has played in to this point are really hitters' leagues, so I think it bodes well for him potentially to continue this success as he goes up through the Minors. I would have some concern about the fact that his age versus his level, as he is just now reaching AA as a 22 year old, but as long as he continues to show success there I think he'll be fine. I do think that it's interesting that in 2010 he has now started to steal bases, and having a lot of success doing so (14 for 15).
Sands has been asked about a lot of late, as he's on pace to hit nearly 40 homers this season. Here's what Jim Shonerd of Baseball America wrote when asked about him:
Neufeldt (New Berlin): At 22, is Jerry Sands old enough to merit a callup to the Dodgers this season, assuming he continues his assault in the minors? Jim Shonerd: Tempting as that might be, it's still just the first year he's played in full-season leagues. Let's see how he holds up over the long term in Double-A. Plus there's nothing wrong with letting him have a full successful season under his belt. It doesn't look like the Dodgers really have a place for him either, unless this Matt Kemp situation really spirals out of control. Or Manny keeps getting hurt, which, granted, seems more likely.
It hadn't occurred to me that he hasn't played a full season yet, but looking at the games played total it does appear to be true. I think that the Dodgers should be in no rush to move him up, and let him develop further. They clearly have Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier locked into their outfield for the foreseeable future, and could be better served letting him continue to get better while other players fill in.
Expected ETA: 2012