MILWAUKEE -- It's true. A panel of 10 baseball experts selected by ESPN to vote on the best defensive player for each month named Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval its winner for July.
The panel consisted of 10 voters. All but one picked Sandoval. Previous winners this season included Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (April), then-Oakland left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (May) and Atlanta right fielder Jason Heyward (June).
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.