Sands enters his first season with the Somerset Patriots and first in the Atlantic League. He has spent parts of the last three seasons in the big leagues, and begins his first season with the Patriots with five years of service at the Major League level.
The Middletown, New York native broke into the Majors with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2011, where he hit .253 with four home runs and 26 RBI over 61 games. Sands made it back to the big leagues with the Dodgers in 2012 and the Tampa Bay Rays in 2014 before appearing in 50 games with the Cleveland Indians in 2015. That season, he hit .236 with four home runs and 19 RBI over 50 games.
Most recently, Sands split time between the Chicago White Sox and their Triple-A affiliate, Charlotte, last year. He hit one home run and recorded seven RBI over 24 games with the White Sox. In 156 games at the major league level, Sands has hit .238 with 10 home runs and 57 RBI.
The Catawba College alumnus hit at least 26 home runs with at least 88 RBI per season in a stretch from 2010-12. In 2011 with Triple-A Albuquerque, Sands batted .278 with 88 RBI and finished fourth in the Pacific Coast League with 29 home runs. The following season, he led the PCL in RBI (107) and finished third in homers (26) with a .296 batting average.
In October of 2012, Sands was traded as a Player To Be Named Later along with four other players from the Dodgers to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez. Two months later, he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in a package along with Mark Melancon for Joel Hanrahan and Brock Holt.
Sands owns a career .274 batting average with 159 home runs and 535 RBI in nine professional seasons in minor league baseball.