Sunday, December 23, 2012

Top 20 Prospects: #1 Aaron Sanchez RHP

 #1 Aaron Sanchez  RHP

Born: July 1, 1992 in Barstow, California, US (Age 20)
Acquired via: 1st round (34th) of the 2010 MLB June Amateur Draft. Out of Barstow HS (Barstow, CA).
Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Height: 6' 4", Weight: 190 lb.  
Baseball America Ranking: #1 (Best FB & CB)
Baseball Prospectus Ranking: #1
Fangraphs Ranking: #1 Rank: #1 (#38 in MLB)
Minor League Ball Rank: #1
(*All Rankings don’t include traded prospects) 

2012 Stats and Analysis
Lansing (A)

Sanchez has some really strange splits when you look at his numbers. The first odd split is something you’d never guess; his second half numbers were horrific, as he posted a 4.36 ERA, compared to his first half ERA of 0.77. Another strange split was his home-away splits, as he was dominant at away games with a 1.10 ERA, but struggled at home posting a 4.14 ERA in 41.1IP. Maybe the oddest split is Sanchez’s numbers against lefties, as a right-handed pitcher. He gave up 1 of his 3 allowed HRs on the year to lefties, and pitched to a .106 BAA when facing them, as opposed to righties, where his BAA was .287. In his first season of more than 55 IP(90.1), Sanchez' numbers finally came down to where his FIP was since he was drafted, and he proved how good he really is.

Scouting Report
Sanchez has a filthy repertoire of pitches, but fails to consistently control them; resulting in high walk rate(5.08/9) and “easy” runs. He can be basically unhittable at times, so if he could find his command, he'd be lights out. Easier said than done. Sanchez’s repertoire consists of a fastball, curveball, and change-up, all of which could end up being 60 or higher caliber pitches. The fastball, a 70 rating pitch, sits comfortably in the low-mid 90s with a easy delivery, but as he fills out it could be consistently in the mid-90s and find itself up to 97mph or so at points in the game. The CB with a 60+/70 potential sits in the upper 70s and is his second to-go pitch. It could end up being a near-elite out pitch if it can be thrown with some consistency in and around the strike zone. Sanchez shows good feel for his CH, but it’s in the early stages of developments, and is currently below average—but, like his other pitches, it has 60 potential. Sanchez has a projectable frame and the filth to match it, but he often loses command, and as he advances through the levels of the minor leagues in the Blue Jays organization, he will get teed off against unless he could consistently locate his pitches.

Sanchez will start the year in Dunedin (A+). Depending on his success he could find himself in New Hampshire (AA) by mid-year, but Buffalo would be a stretch. 

A September call-up in 2014 is possible if all goes right for Sanchez. In that case, he could find himself in a battle for a rotation spot in 2015. Stumbling blocks are almost inevitable for pitchers so a spot-start or call-up in 2015 seems more likely. 

At just 20 years old, Sanchez has the ultimate make-up and projectable frame for a pitcher. His ceiling is a high-end #2 starter that’ll log innings to a low ERA, with a floor not so far behind. He’s a high risk guy that may never reach the majors if his command doesn't settle, but if he does, he could be absolutely dominant. Sanchez could find himself being a pitcher that the fans cannot wait to watch pitch every five days due to pure excitement, it's just a matter of when he will be able to locate his pitches and stop walking so many batter per game.

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