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Why Sandoval believes Matos can be a ‘special' player for the Giants

Why Sandoval believes Matos can be a ‘special' player for the Giants originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

As Pablo Sandoval attempts to crack the Giants' 2024 roster, he’s done his part to build relationships with San Francisco’s younger Spanish-speaking players.

In speaking to KNBR 680's “Murph & Markus" on Thursday, Sandoval elaborated on his rapport with younger members of the organization. When asked what he thought of the Giants' young players, Sandoval told Brian Murphy and Markus Boucher that the group has impressed him so far in spring training.

“These guys, this organization has so much talent, and the younger guys, they’re mature, they know how to play baseball, they know how to handle things,” Sandoval said. “I have great communication with all those guys, they like to listen, they put all the work in to get better you know?”

Murphy and Markus then asked Sandoval what he thought of his fellow Venezuelan Luis Matos, who the Giants are hoping will blossom into a star this season. The 37-year-old had plenty of praise for the up-and-coming Matos, who Sandoval believes can be a special player for the organization.

“I had great communication with him [last season] congratulating him for making the big leagues…he’s got a lot of love, a lot of passion, and respects the game as one of the young guys who can do a lot of things for this team,” Sandoval explained.

“I’ve seen him play a couple of times, he can be good, he can be special. Like I said, it’s on him, he can do everything out there, he puts the pressure on everyone [to be better].”

Sandoval was a key member of three World Series championship teams during his first stint with the Giants from 2008 to 2014 before leaving the organization to sign a $90-million contract with the Boston Red Sox.

Eventually, he returned to San Francisco, playing four more seasons with the team from 2017-2020. Now 37 years old, Sandoval is making a late push to make the roster, with the former switch hitter now only batting left-handed, limiting his potential as the Giants already have a regular first baseman and designated hitter.

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