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Meet Pablo Sandoval, new Red Sox third baseman

Pablo Sandoval was given the nickname ‘Kung Fu Panda’ by Barry Zito in 2008.Elsa/getty Images

Pablo Sandoval grew up playing baseball in a two-car garage with balled up tape and his older brother, Michael.

Now, the Puerto Cabello, Venezuela, native will bring his three World Series rings to Boston.

The 28-year-old, nicknamed Kung Fu Panda, agreed to a deal with the Red Sox on Monday after seven seasons with the San Francisco Giants.

Here are some quick facts about the Sox’ newest power hitter:

■ Sandoval is a switch-hitter and can throw with both hands, but primarily throws with his right.

■ He is 5 foot 11 inches and 245 pounds.

■ The Giants organization signed him in 2003, but he didn’t make his minor league debut until the following season with the AZL Giants in Scottsdale, Ariz. He played for five minor league teams in about four and a half seasons.

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■ He was called up on Aug. 13, 2008, and made his major league debut the next day against the Astros, going 0-for-3 and recording an RBI on a sacrifice fly.

■ He started at third base in 2009, and was used as Zito’s catcher at the start of the season as well as filling the backup catcher role behind Bengie Molina.

■ He struggled in 2010, which led to him being benched in the NLCS for Juan Uribe. In the 2010 World Series, he had just three at-bats.

■ After finishing the 2010 season at 278 pounds, Sandoval spent the offseason trimming down. At the start of spring training in 2011, he weighed in at 240 pounds. The Giants publicized his efforts as “Operation Panda.”

■ He is one of four players in MLB history to hit three home runs in a World Series game. The feat came in Game 1 of the 2012 series against the Tigers.

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■ He plays in the Venezuelan Winter league for the Navengantes del Magallanes, which won the league title January 2013.

■ He is the first Venezuelan to win the World Series MVP.

■ In 2014, he batted .279 with 16 home runs and 73 RBIs in the regular season, and batted .366 with seven doubles and five RBIs in the postseason, helping the Giants secure their third championship in five seasons.

How ‘Kung Fu Panda’ came to be

Sandoval’s moniker was derived after the big fella went airborne over Dodgers’ catcher Danny Ardoin on Sept. 19, 2008.

The rotund third baseman scored on the play, and Giants pitcher Barry Zito dubbed him Kung Fu Panda, after the DreamWorks cartoon, Po.

Giants fans embraced the nickname, especially this season, sporting panda bear hats, T-shirts and other gear throughout their team’s run to another World Series.

Pablo Sandoval hit 16 home runs during the 2014 regular season.Morry Gash/AP

Career milestones

First walkoff home run: May 12, 2009, against the Nationals in a 9-7 win. “I was so excited, I could not sleep thinking about it,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle after the game.

First career grand slam: July 6, 2009

World Series titles: 2010, 2012, 2014

All-Star games: 2011, 2012

World Series MVP: 2012

Hit for the cycle: Sept., 15, 2011

Injuries

Bone spurs in elbow in early 2009 and didn’t play catcher for the Giants after.

Fractured hamate bone in left hand in May 2012. Had surgery and returned the following month.

Left hamstring injury in late July 2012 that landed him on the disabled list until mid-August.

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Strained left foot (perineal tendon) in June 2013. Was on the DL for 15 days, and returned later in the month.

Minor league stats

Year Team AB R H HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2004 AZL Giants 177 21 47 0 26 5 17 0.266 0.287 0.373 0.66
2005 Salem-Keizer 294 46 97 3 50 21 33 0.33 0.383 0.425 0.808
2006 Augusta 438 43 116 1 49 22 74 0.265 0.309 0.322 0.631
2007 San Jose 401 56 115 11 52 16 52 0.287 0.312 0.476 0.788
2008 Two teams 448 90 157 20 96 31 59 0.35 0.394 0.578 0.972
2008 San Jose 273 61 98 12 59 23 39 0.359 0.412 0.597 1.009
2008 Connecticut 175 29 59 8 37 8 20 0.337 0.364 0.549 0.913
Major League stats
Year Team AB R H HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2008 Giants 145 24 50 3 24 4 14 0.345 0.357 0.49 0.847
2009 Giants 572 79 189 25 90 52 83 0.33 0.387 0.556 0.943
2010 Giants 563 61 151 13 63 47 81 0.268 0.323 0.409 0.732
2011 Giants 426 55 134 23 70 32 63 0.315 0.357 0.552 0.909
2012 Giants 396 59 112 12 63 38 59 0.283 0.342 0.447 0.789
2013 Giants 525 52 146 14 79 47 79 0.278 0.341 0.417 0.758
2014 Giants 588 68 164 16 73 39 85 0.279 0.324 0.415 0.739
Total 3215 398 946 106 462 259 464 0.294 0.346 0.465 0.811

Follow Rachel G. Bowers on Twitter @RachelGBowers.