Phillies Prospect #37: Danny Sandoval

Danny Sandoval has gotten a quick taste of major league baseball, but he's in a position now to take a bigger bite. The infielder could stick with the Phillies in a utility role if he shows he belongs this spring.

Danny Sandoval took a long road to the Phillies organization and his road to the majors has been even longer. Originally signed by the White Sox, Sandoval started his pro career in the Venezuelan Summer League, spending a season there before hitting the states. He started slowly in the states and it took him four seasons before he saw any substantial playing time above the Class-A level for the White Sox. After becoming a free agent, Sandoval signed with the Phillies, but never played for them since he was lost to the Colorado Rockies in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft just a month after he inked the deal with Philadelphia. When things didn't work out in Colorado, Sandoval again signed with the Phillies and is entering his third season with the organization.

Last summer, Sandoval found his way to the majors and got a little bit of playing time with limited success at the major league level. He did show enough that he stuck on the 40 man roster over the winter and will be in camp with a legitimate shot at earning a utility role with the club backing up Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins.

Danny Sandoval's career stats

VSL 0 9 .341 31 82 16 28 0 1 8 11 7
A 8 132 .260 377 1329 165 345 51 8 80 93 201
AA 16 191 .289 464 1746 246 505 105 9 101 143 217
AAA 9 88 .293 197 743 84 218 37 1 12 46 100
TOTAL 33 420 .281 1069 3900 511 1096 190 19 201 293 525
Majors 0 4 .200 31 40 2 8 1 0 0 4 4

Acquired: Originally signed by the Chicago White Sox in December of 1996 and played in the White Sox organization through the 2003 season when he became a minor league free agent and signed with the Phillies in November of 2003. A month later he was taken by the Colorado Rockies in the Rule 5 Draft and played one season in the Colorado organization before again signing with the Phillies as a minor league free agent.

Batting and Power: Sandoval has never shown much power and has a career season-high of just eight homeruns in the minors. Instead, Sandoval is more of a slap hitter who will use his speed to sometimes stretch a single into a double. His plate discipline is decent, but he does strike out a little more than he should considering his lack of power. Sandoval's value would take a dramatic turn for the better if he were to find a way to draw more walks and simply get on base.

Baserunning and Speed: While he's not going to win any stolen base titles, Sandoval has above average speed, but again, there's a downside; He doesn't have the best stolen base percentage (65%) and needs to be a little smarter about when and how he uses his speed.

Defense: This is where Sandoval does take advantage of his speed. He gets good jumps to the ball and has slightly above average range to either side. He's played second, third, short and even some outfield in the minors, but middle infield is where he's most comfortable. The Phillies have had him work out in the outfield a little and he could be used in that role if needed, which makes him a valuable asset on the bench.

Projection: While he's not likely to set the world on fire, Sandoval could at least serve as an above average utility player. Scouts differ on whether he could be an everyday player at the major league level but they do agree that he can help a team in a utility role. It won't be easy for Sandoval to win a job with the Phillies out of spring training, but he's at least got a shot if he plays well, especially considering how many positions he can play.

Comparison: One scout compared Sandoval to Neifi Perez and thinks that he could put up similar numbers, although might struggle to give the offense that Perez can provide.


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