Minor League Notes, July 6, 2010


Video of Jerry Sands being ejected from a game. You can't see a swing with this video, but you can at least see what he looks like physically, and check out the haircut.


Minor League Notes, July 6, 2010

**Jerry Sands was drafted by the Dodgers in the 25th round in 2008, out of Catawba College in North Carolina. He was excellent in college, but as a Division II player it was easy for scouts to be skeptical about his performances. This was especially true after he hit just .205 in 46 Gulf Coast League games after signing, though he did hit 10 homers, showing enough power to avoid getting released. He began 2009 with Ogden in the Pioneer League and was much more effective, hitting .350/.427/.687 with 14 homers...but it was the Pioneer League. He hit .260/.361/.510 in 32 games for Great Lakes in the Midwest League at the end of the season. I gave him a Grade C in the book this year, noting his power but also noting that Midwest League scouts said his swing was long and might not work at higher levels.
    Sands returned to Great Lakes this year, hitting .333/.432/.646 in 69 games, with 18 homers, 40 walks, 61 strikeouts in 243 at-bats, along with 14 steals in 16 attempts...hard to argue with any of that, this is excellent performance in all respects except perhaps a higher-than-ideal strikeout rate. He moved up to Double-A Chattanooga two weeks ago and has remained hot: .333/.412/.756 with four walks, 11 strikeouts in 45 at-bats. Obviously we'd like a larger Double-A sample size, but it looks great so far, with some deterioration in BB/K. 
    Tools-wise, Sands is a big guy at 6-4, 225, with average running speed and a good throwing arm. He steals bases with polish rather than pure speed. Midwest League sources still say his swing looked a bit long, but that his plate discipline is excellent. His current minor league career stats: .300/.400/.599.
    Defensively, he's split the season between first base and right field. His outfield range is reportedly limited, but his arm plays pretty well.
    Grade-wise, Sands is at least a Grade C+/B- at this point. I want to get some Double-A scouting reports and end-of-season numbers before going higher than that, but if he continues to rake like this, he'll be a Grade B by season's end and somewhere in the Top 100.

**Another player recently promoted out of the Midwest League is Royals catching prospect Wil Myers. He was hitting .289/.408/.500 with 10 homers, 48 walks and 55 strikeouts in 242 at-bats for Burlington, along with 10 steals in 13 attempts. He was jumped up to High-A Wilmington last week, and is 8-for-19 (.421) so far in five games.
     Midwest League sources were extremely impressed with Myers as a hitter, pointing to strong plate discipline and power to all fields with plus bat speed. There was some concern about unconventional swing mechanics when he was in high school, but it hasn't harmed him so far as a pro. Defense is another matter. He's athletic and mobile and has a good throwing arm, but his glovework is otherwise substandard, particularly with blocking pitches, due to raw footwork. This shows up statistically with an unacceptably high passed ball rate, with 18 so far in 49 defensive games this year. He's not bad against runners, catching 33% this year, but his other glove skills need a lot of polish.
     Personally I would have kept him at Burlington for another month, if only to work on his defense.


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