|Sixto Sanchez, image- Jay Floyd|
Sanchez signed with the Phils for a reported $35,000 at the age of 16. He would begin his professional career in 2015 as a member of the Phillies' Dominican Summer League team. In 11 appearances (two starts), the talented hurler posted a 1-2 record with a 4.56 ERA and a .291 batting average against.
As a member of the rookie level Gulf Coast League Phillies in 2016, the six-foot 185-pounder made 11 starts, posting impressive numbers. In 54 innings, Sanchez allowed just three earned runs, to post a remarkable 0.50 ERA. Additionally, to go along with his undefeated 5-0 record, he would tally a .181 BAA with a 44-to-8 strike out-to-walk ratio.
The success he enjoyed in the GCL came while facing batters that were mostly multiple years older than he was, as Sanchez was only 17-years-old until July 29th that summer.
Last season, Sanchez opened the campaign with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws. He would miss a month or so due to a reported neck strain from May to June, but still dominated the league. In 13 starts there, Sanchez sported a 5-2 record with a 2.41 ERA and a .191 BAA.
He was promoted to join Class A Advanced Clearwater's starting rotation in August. With the Threshers, Sanchez would notch a 0-4 record with a 4.55 ERA and a .252 BAA in five outings.
Overall for the year, in his combined efforts for Lakewood and Clearwater, Sanchez put together an 8.0 K/9 mark.
A shortstop as a youth player, Sanchez has made quite the conversion to the pitchers mound. The skilled youngster is equipped with a rave-worthy repertoire, including an upper-90's fastball that gets into triple digits and features sink. He also sports very good secondary offerings with exceptional upside...a reliable curve ball that has some nice movement as well as a standout change up.
Coaches really find his feel for pitching as a major asset for his future. Those same individuals in charge of Sanchez's development cite his work ethic and approach at the ball park as praise worthy aspects. He's someone that embraces his tasks and loves to get better.
Sanchez worked last year to add and subtract from his offerings, instead of letting them rip each time. This will help him become a more complete pitcher and keep the opposition guessing.
With his workload limited to this point in his career, soon it will be time to really stretch out the 19-year-old's arm and boost his innings to a true full-season level.
It's likely that Sanchez will be assigned to Clearwater to open the 2018 season. As one of the organization's most promising young talents, it's not too far fetched to think that he could get some time at the Double-A level before the season is out.
The ceiling for Sanchez is to one day lead the Phillies' big league rotation. An estimated time of arrival for a big league audition for that duty could come by next year.
You can keep track of this year's Phillies prospect countdown at this link.