Phillies Post-2016 Top 30 Prospect Rankings: 11-15
By John Town
No. 13: Right-Handed Pitcher Sixto Sanchez
No Phillies prospect outside of Mickey Moniak garnered more attention in the Gulf Coast League than Sixto Sanchez. He was still just 17 when the GCL season started and looked it too, standing just over six feet tall.
Despite his youth, Sanchez dominated batters in his first season stateside. Opposing hitters had just a .179 average against Sanchez. He finished the season with a 0.50 ERA, 2.25 FIP, and 0.76 WHIP. He struck out 22.7% of the batters he faced and walked just 4.1%.
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In addition, Sanchez wasn’t afraid to pitch to contact. According to MLBFarm, Sanchez induced ground balls 58.57% of the time. The strategy panned out, as opposing hitters had a .236 batting average on balls in play.
Thanks to his success in the GCL, Baseball America named Sanchez the GCL Pitcher of the Year as well as ranking him the No. 7 prospect in the league. In the ensuing chat, Ben Badler said Sanchez is farther along at his age than other Phillies pitching prospects Franklyn Kilome and Adonis Medina.
Sanchez’s fastball is his best pitch, typical of teenage pitchers. However, it is better than most other pitchers’ fastballs his age, sitting in the mid-90s with good sinking action. His changeup is a solid secondary pitch, fading away from opposing batters. Sanchez’s breaking ball also flashes plus, so at least one his secondary pitches should be above-average.
Sanchez will rocket up rankings this offseason after his impressive debut, but there is a still long way to go before he reaches the major-leagues. The team will likely send Sanchez back to extended spring training next year and see how he fares in short-season Williamsport. A strong showing there will warrant his first chance at full-season ball in 2018.