This is a bold prediction given he is currently in one of the biggest slumps of a down year of a streaky career, but Pablo Sandoval will have an award winning season in 2014. I’m talking National League MVP or Gold Glove level award. Few players have more unrealized potential than the San Francisco Giant’s Pablo Sandoval. 2014 will be the last year of Pablo’s current contract. This will be the motivation Pablo needs to finally put the pieces together, both on offense and defense. The thing is, Pablo has a bit of a weight problem. This image has been making the rounds lately, and it sums up Pablo’s career nicely:
Pablo’s agent will do whatever it takes to tune him up for 2014. That might mean off-season surgery on a grumpy elbow, but it will certainly include a weight loss plan. I’m picturing Ryan Morgan following Pablo around with a backpack full of broccoli and a cattle prod in hand.
Pablo has always shown flashes of brilliance, including three home runs in game 1 of the 2012 World Series earning him the World Series MVP. How does a player capable of doing that bat only .226/.291/.328 since the start of May? A trifecta of a lack of focus, continued weight problem, and a Giants team with no momentum. I don’t think the first two will be a problem next season, and the Giants are unlikely to be any worse than they currently are.
I predict the Kung Fu Panda will match his career best WAR and be a top three Gold Glove candidate. If he was doing that this season only David Wright would be close at third base in the National League. Pablo has the potential to pass up David Wright next year. The bigger question for me is whether he can maintain that level of productivity beyond 2014. Hopefully Pablo can make some healthy lifestyle changes, and make a habit out of it. It’s in his hands what kind of career he has and next year will be the turning point.