Weight: 195 lbs
Drafted: 1st Round in 2001 out of High School
Position: Corner Outfielder (Who has also played 3b and SS in the past)
Tools: Sardinha has the classic physical tools of a 1st round shortstop out of High School. He is agile, fleet of foot, and has a strong arm. He reportedly handled 3b pretty well, but was moved to the outfield due to Eric Duncan and Alex Rodriguez. Sardinha shows moderate power (20 HR), and extremely good walking ability (Iso Patience of .083). His weakness is in the ability to hit for average (.269 career average) due to striking out too much (127 K per 162 games).
Performance: Sardinha has been very inconsistent in the minor leagues, in part due to frequent position change. The Yankees had him set in the outfield for awhile, then moved him back to 3rd prior to the Alex Rodriguez trade. They then moved him to left field. Sardinha's career minor league line of is .269/.352/.398. He took a major step forward in the later part of 2006, hitting .286/.365/.492 after earning a call up to Columbus. He's finally meeting expectations, and still has his youth.
Outlook: I am a big fan of Sardinha. The only reason that I do not rate him higher is that no one really agrees with me. I can see Sardinha putting together a few hitting seasons similar to what Johnny Damon did this this season, minus the stolen bases. It seems like he has been around forever, even though he is only 23 years old. The one knock against Sardinha is that he may be left exposed to the Rule V draft this offseason. Luckily for him, the new CBA rule changes give the Yankees a little more breathing room in this regard. I could see Sardinha coming into play in 2008 as a call up.
Grades: Ceiling C+, Health B+, Chance of Reaching Majors 40%. Comparison: Pre-Steroids Luis Gonzalez
Friday, December 29, 2006