On Pablo Sandoval’s defensive prowess

From SABR member Wendy Thurm at FanGraphs on December 1, 2011:

He didn’t win a Gold Glove. He didn’t win a Fielding Bible Award. But Pablo Sandoval may be the best defensive third baseman in the National League, if not the majors.

Yes, I’m a San Francisco Giants fan. A season-ticket holder, in fact. So I do see a lot of Sandoval at the hot corner over the course of the season. But neither my fandom nor my eyes have blinded me. Sandoval is just that good. And not “good for a guy who looks like the Kung Fu Panda”; just flat-out good.

Let’s start with the numbers. Sandoval only played 904 innings at third base in 2011, as he missed about six weeks with a broken hamate bone in his right hand. Adrian Beltre — who won the American League Gold Glove and Fielding Bible Award for his play at third base — logged 980 innings at third. Placido Polanco — the winner of the National League Gold Glove — manned the hot corner for 1,044 innings. Evan Longoria was at third for 1,124 innings. Those were the top four defensive third baseman in the majors in 2011.

With the fewest innings played of the four, Sandoval led all third basemen in the three types defensive metrics tracked on FanGraphs.

Read the full article here: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/pablo-sandoval-jack-be-nimble-jack-be-quick/

Originally published: December 1, 2011. Last Updated: December 1, 2011.