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Prospect of the Day: Jerry Sands, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers

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Prospect of the Day:

Jerry Sands, OF-1B, Los Angeles Dodgers
    A year ago, Jerry Sands was a fairly anonymous prospect,  a former 25th round pick just making his way through A-ball.  All of that changed with an excellent 2010 season that saw him hit 35 homers between Low-A and Double-A, culminating with a strong '11 spring training and a terrific start this year for Triple-A Albuquerque (.400/.422/.875 with five homers in 10 games). A college star for Division II Catawba, Sands didn't have the kind of athletic tools that interest scouts and earned just a $5,000 bonus entering pro ball in 2008.

 He broke out with a .333/.432/.646 mark in the first half for Low-A Great Lakes in '10, then continued hitting for power after moving up to Chattanooga with a .270/.360/.529 mark, hitting 28 doubles and 35 homers overall. Refinements to his swing give him power to all fields, and he has enough bat control and plate discipline to hit for a decent average and draw some walks. He's not especially fast but can pick up a steal if the defense ignores him. Though  he may fit best at first base in the long run, he's not terrible in the outfield and can certainly hit enough to stick at a corner. He's also seen a few innings at third base. His makeup and work ethic are highly-praised.

Sands is ready for the majors now and is the obvious choice to promote when the Dodgers need an outfielder. He rated as a Grade B prospect pre-season, ranked Number 39 on the Top 50 hitters list in the 2011 Baseball Prospect Book.