May 25, 2011, 2:52 PM EDT
Jerry Sands got off to a rough start after the Dodgers called him up from Triple-A in mid-April, going 8-for-47 (.190) with 13 strikeouts through 11 games.
They stuck with the 23-year-old top prospect, trusting that he’d eventually get on track and live up to the promise he showed while destroying minor-league pitching, and Sands has responded by going 14-for-50 (.280) with seven extra-base hits and more walks (11) than strikeouts (9) in 19 games so far this month.
That includes his first career grand slam last night, which came just a couple days after his first career homer Sunday, and suddenly his .756 OPS ranks fourth on the team behind Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and Casey Blake. James Loney, who Sands figures to eventually replace at first base, has a measly .579 OPS after posting a .723 mark last season.
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