Juan Francisco Sandoval Ferreira
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 170 lb.
Pitcher Juan Sandoval has played in the minor leagues since 2001.
He was signed by Seattle Mariners scouts Patrick Guerrero and Bob Engle as an undrafted free agent in 2000 and began his professional career the next year, going 7-2 with a 3.40 ERA for the DSL Mariners. In 2002, he had a 5-5, 3.46 record with the AZL Mariners. He tied for the Arizona League lead in losses and was 10th in ERA. He struggled (11-10, 4.46, .300 opponent average) with the 2003 Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. He led the Midwest League in several negative departments: hits (190, 5 more than Sam Smith), runs (97, 10 ahead of Eric Ackerman) and earned runs (78, tied with Ackerman). He also tied for 8th in wins. Among Mariners farmhands, the Dominican was tied for 6th in wins, tied Brian Sweeney for 7th in losses, led in hits (3 more than Craig Anderson), led in runs (4 ahead of Anderson) and led in earned runs (four more than Jeff Heaverlo and Troy Cate).
Sandoval was 11-11 with a 4.12 ERA for the 2004 Inland Empire 66ers. He tied Marc Sauer and Jesus Silva for 8th in the California League in wins, tied for fourth in losses, was 4th in hits allowed (184, between Bobby Livingston and Khalid Ballouli), ranked 7th in ERA (between Matt Lynch and Wes Littleton), was third in innings (between Livingston and Ben Crockett) and tied Bo Hall for second in home runs (21, two behind Ballouli). He tied Rich Dorman for 4th among Mariners minor leaguers in wins but was second in losses, second to Livingston in hits allowed and first in gopher balls.
He was 9-11 with a 4.03 ERA and .305 opponent average but only six homers in 160 2/3 IP for the 2005 San Antonio Missions. He tied Jordan Pals and Mike Stodolka for third in the Texas League in losses, one behind Nick Masset and Chris Sampson. His 196 hits allowed were third in the TL behind Kyle Middleton and Masset. In the Seattle chain, he tied Jason Mackintosh for second in losses (behind Aaron Jensen) and was second in hits allowed (10 behind Mackintosh).
In February 2006, he was the victim of a shooting at a restaurant in his native Dominican Republic, an innocent bystander caught in the crosshairs. Three shotgun pellets hit his right eye, leaving that eye permanently blind. He underwent two surgeries and missed the season.
Despite his disability, he returned to playing in 2007 and became a relief pitcher. He split the summer between the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx (1-4, 3 Sv, 4.29 in 26 G) and Tacoma Rainiers (1-2, 10.06 ERA, 2.71 WHIP in 14 G), reaching AAA for the first time. He was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the AAA phase of the 2007 Rule V Draft and played in their system in 2008 (when he had 20 saves and a 3.38 ERA in 45 games for the Huntsville Stars), finishing 4th in the Southern League in saves (behind Jon Link, Jairo Asencio and Chris Mobley) and leading Brewers farmhands in that department (three more than runner-up Omar Aguilar). In 2009, he pitched 42 games for Huntsville (4-3, 2 Sv, 4.93) and 7 for the Nashville Sounds (4.82 ERA). He was third in the Milwaukee chain in pitching appearances, behind Robert Hinton and Rob Wooten.
After the Brewers released him, he latched on with the Philadelphia Phillies and pitched on their farm in 2010, struggling with the A-class Clearwater Threshers (1-1, 6.68 ERA, 1.81 WHIP in 21 G). In 2011 and 2012, he played in Mexico. He was with the Diablos Rojos del Mexico (2-5, 2 Sv, 5.49 in 35 G) and Tigres de Quintana Roo (1-2, 2.48 in 27 G). He led the Mexican League in games pitched, two ahead of Mauricio Tequida. In 2012, he toiled for the Diablos Rojos (6-3, Sv, 3.77 in 48 G) and Guerreros de Oaxaca (1-0, Sv, 1.48 in 19 G). He again led the league in games pitched by two, this time ahead of Sandy Nin.
Signed by the Tampa Bay Rays for 2013, Sandoval had a solid year, going 6-4 with 19 saves and a 3.21 ERA in 58 games split between the Montgomery Biscuits (5-3, 19 Sv, 3.24 in 46 G) and the Triple-A Durham Bulls (1-1, Sv, 3.13 in 12 G). He replaced Mike Montgomery in the 8th inning of a no-hitter one game but allowed a Tony Sanchez hit. He tied for 10th in the SL in games pitched and tied Yimi Garcia and Frank Batista for second in saves (behind Michael Brady). The veteran led the Rays chain in games pitched (7 ahead of Kirby Yates and C.J. Riefenhauser) and was second in saves (one behind Yates).
He began 2014 with Durham.