Prospect Profile: Daniel Sandoval

Coming into the 2005 season, there were plenty of potential catchers for the GCL Tigers that people were hoping would step up; but none were Daniel Sandoval. That didn't seem to matter to Sandoval, as he emerged as the top catcher and the club and vaulted himself onto the Top 50 Prospect list.

Daniel Sandoval
Position: Catcher Height: 5-11 Weight: 170
Born: 5/7/1985 Bats: Right Throws: Right

Background
Daniel Sandoval came stateside in 2005, after spending the previous couple of seasons playing for the Tigers Dominican Summer League team. After signing as a relative unknown out of the Dominican Republic, Sandoval has slowly progressed, making himself an intriguing player. The 2005 season looked ominous as it was apparent he would be battling for time with two players who had demonstrated substantial potential over the previous two seasons. In the end, it was Sandoval who took the majority of at-bats away from Cole Miller and James Skelton, and earned a late season promotion to Oneonta of the New York-Penn League. In a pitcher friendly complex league, Sandoval finished with an impressive .314/.351/.467 line, and proved to be one of the more important offensive cogs on the GCL squad.

Scouting Report
Sandoval exhibits all the traits of a young, still developing catching prospect. He is a solid defender, with good receiving skills and an average arm, but is still learning to properly block pitches behind the dish. Offensively, the 2005 season was Daniel's coming out party, finally demonstrating the ability to hit for average, control the strike zone, and hit for some power. Sandoval struggles at times to recognize breaking pitches, but possesses a quick bat that can adjust to pitches out of the zone. If Daniel can progress in terms of laying off pitches out of the zone, he could become a much more consistent hitter, avoiding slumps that are likely to plague him at higher levels. Thus far, Sandoval has not exhibited any significant power, but as he matures and adds muscle to his athletic 170-pound frame, he should develop solid 20-homer power. Overall, Sandoval remains a very raw catching prospect, but the tools are there to become a solid backstop.

Performance

Level

Team

AB

AVG

2B

HR

RBI

SO

BB

OBP%

SLG%

R

GCL Tigers

105

.314

4

4

14

16

5

.351

.467


Health Record
Sandoval has not experienced any significant injuries to this point in his career.

The Future
The 2006 season will be another in which Sandoval will have to share time with players like Miller, Skelton, Joel Roa, Schuyler Williamson, and Chris Torres. However, if Sandoval can maintain and improve upon the offensive package he showed in 2005, he could steal a majority of the at-bats at Oneonta. It will be a difficult job for Sandoval to distinguish himself amongst so many other catchers, but the easiest path to recognition is through offensive success, something Daniel is capable of doing. Look for Sandoval to draw the inevitable comparisons that every slight-of-build, athletic catcher faces; a comparison to Jason Kendall. As optimistic as a comparison like this may seem, the skill sets are enough alike to understand the basis. Sandoval has a very long way to go in order to warrant such lofty praise, but don't be surprised if more signs become present next season.


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