Down On The Farm: Dodgers Prospect Jerry Sands

Jason wrote about Jerry Sands back on July 17th, but I wanted to provide an update as I think keeper/dynasty league owners should be aware of him come 2011. (Actually, I realized he wrote about him after this article was finished).

The Dodgers drafted Jerry Sands in the 25th round of the 2008 draft. Sands is a 6'4" 225 pound outfielder/first baseman. Coming into the 2010 season, Dodgers outfield prospect Jerry Sands was not on the radar of many prospect experts. But, Sands appears to have made a point to put himself amongst the top power hitting prospects in all of baseball in 2010.

In 2009, Sands hit .315-.401-.618 with 19 HRs and 58 RBIs between rookie league and Low-A Great Lakes. In 2010, Sands started the season at Low-A Great Lakes, and at 22 years of age, he was old for the league. Well, Sands proved he could dominate Low A by hitting .333-.432-.646 with 18 HRs and 46 RBIs in 243 at bats, which earned him a promotion to AA Chattanooga.

At AA Chattanooga, Sands has hit .275-.374-.550 with 13 HRs and 37 RBIs in 200 at bats, so he has proved he can hit AA pitching almost as well as he hit Low A pitching. As a 22 year old in AA, and maintaining the power he showed in Low A, some scouts are not as skeptical of Sands as they were at the beginning of the season.

Here is what Baseball America wrote about Sands in their July 29th Prospect Blog:

Jerry Sands, 1b/of, Dodgers (Double-A Chattanooga)

When Sands spent the season's first three months tearing up the low Class A Midwest League, it was easy to be skeptical of a 22-year-old beating up on younger competition. While 123 plate appearances is a small sample size, what Sands is doing after skipping a level to go to Double-A is impressive. Sands went 3-for-4 with two home runs, giving him 11 in 29 Double-A games and 29 in 98 games on the year. Sands has made enough of an impression on some scouts to project him as a major league regular with plus power and solid defense at either first base or a corner outfield position.

And this from Kevin Goldstein in his July 29th Future Shock Blog:

29 home runs overall on the season and .283/.407/.636 at Double-A; time to take him seriously as a future run producer.

Now Sands still has some issues at the plate as he has struck out 115 times in 443 at bats this season, but he has maintained a solid walk rate-67 walks in 443 at bats for a .406 OBP this season. In AA, he is striking out in 27% of his ABs, but walking in 11% of his ABs, not bad for a power hitter.

I am curious where Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus and ESPN's Keith Law will rank him in 2011, but as a Dodgers fan, I could see him in the Top 3 for Dodgers prospects with recently drafted Zach Lee and AA shortstop Dee Gordon.

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