Giants manager Bruce Bochy wasn't surprised by Sandoval's distinction.
"He had some work to do," Bochy said Wednesday, citing Sandoval's conditioning and development of a quicker first step. Now, Bochy said, "He's got to be considered one of the top third basemen."
Indeed, Bochy said that Sandoval's willingness to get in better shape probably helped him earn the ESPN honor. "One thing about Pablo is that he has a lot of energy," Bochy said. "He's never backed off."
The panel reviewed Sandoval's games in July and determined that he executed 19 "good plays," described as plays worthy of "Web Gem" status. By comparison, he committed only one misplay throughout the month, according to the panel.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.