San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval is in the middle of a tremendous postseason and has carried that effort right into the World Series. Sandoval’s three home run performance in Game 1 of the World Series proves why his nickname “Kung Fun Panda” suits him very well.
Sandoval is batting .370 with six home runs, 13 runs batted in, nine runs scored, and has touched 42 total bases in 13 games during the 2012 postseason. He also has an on-base percentage of .386, a slugging percentage of .778, and a 1.164 OPS.
The 26-year-old Venezuelan went 4-for-4 with four RBIs before being taken out of Game 1 by manager Bruce Bochy after the Giants had a substantial lead over the Detroit Tigers. It would have been interesting to see if Sandoval was able to improve his night by going 5-for-5 or collecting four homers if he got another at-bat.
At 5-foot-11, 242-pounds it is no wonder why the Giants’ fan base has given the four-year player the nickname “Kung Fu Panda”. Sandoval certainly does not have the build of a Major League ball player, yet he is able to do things no one else does.
What he lacks in athleticism he makes up in power and consistency. Sandoval is a career .303 hitter with 76 home runs in 2,102 plate appearances. He may not hit 30 homers in a season but he will certainly bring the power when needed.
That is another reason why “Kung Fu Panda” suits him so well. Sandoval hit only 12 home runs this past season yet he has hit half of that in the postseason and a fourth of that in one game. Just like Po from the movie Kung Fu Panda, Sandoval does not appear capable of doing something but then somehow comes through in the clutch.
Sandoval struggled in the 2010 postseason when the Giants went on their magical run to win the World Series. Maybe he is trying to make up for lost time or maybe he simply wants to ensure his team’s success by playing to the best of his ability. One thing is for certain, San Francisco needs Sandoval to continue at his dominant pace in order to defeat Detroit.
Michael is a MLB and NBA Featured Writer for Rant Sports, but covers topics for various teams in baseball, basketball, and football. Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelTerrill and on Facebook.