The Lakewood BlueClaws must know it. They’ve seen his work in the Gulf Coast League where he went 5-0 with an ERA of 0.50 with 44 strikeouts in 54 innings. To say that Sixto Sanchez is on the right track would be an understatement. However, we can not forget that the kid from San Cristobal, Dominican Republic is still just a kid at 18 years old.
Yes, you can now close your mouth from the surprise.
Sanchez will play for the Philadelphia Phillies lower Class-A team, the Lakewood BlueClaws, this season. And while some expect him to blend in, he could very well dominate. Yes, at 18 years of age he could be on the fast track to success as Sal Agostinelli said:
Tremendous performance,” Agostinelli said. “Not one fastball was under 95. And it’s an easy, almost effortless 95. His slider was 88 to 90. No walks. He’s special.
Words like that are spoken plenty when describing a young player they have high hopes for. But what makes this such a special case is Sanchez just started pitching at the age of 16. That’s like Carson Wentz playing running back up until the NFL Draft then switching over to QB. A talent like this cannot be kept caged for too long and the Phillies are taking no such risk.
Sanchez will see better players this season– but what happens if the kid shines? What if he can duplicate what he did on the GCL? Do the Phillies move him up or let him sit in Class A for another season or two? Sanchez will still have to deal with the likes of Asheville, Dalmarva, and Greenville who are known to knock the lining out of a baseball as each team smacked over 100+ home runs in 2016. However, there seems to be no fear in the eyes or pitching style of Sanchez as explained by Alex Concepcion, a Phillies minor-league pitching coach.
The first time we saw this guy, we said, ‘This guy has potential.’ He is not afraid,” Concepcion said. “He likes to throw, no worries or nothing. For me, this guy is a big leaguer.
That’s what fans want to hear, better yet, what they want to see.
Sanchez is rated as one of the top 13 prospects in the Phillies farm system while some may regard him as their top pitching prospect ahead of Franklyn Kilome. That may be a stretch but Sanchez is rising fast up the ranks.
2017 will be his introduction to the ladder of the Major League Baseball but if Sanchez attacks Class-A like he has done everything else in his life then we could be seeing him in Citizens Bank Park well before his projected 2020 date.