MLB.com has begun their series of top-ten prospects by position, and Phillies prospect Sixto Sanchez made the list as the tenth-best right-handed pitcher.
Perhaps the most recognizable Phillies prospect by name alone the last two years has been Sixto Sanchez. The 19-year-old emerged as a force to be reckoned with in 2016 in the Gulf Coast League where he had the lowest ERA of any pitcher and walked just 1.33 batters per nine innings.
Sanchez truly broke out in 2017 in Low-A Lakewood, striking out a quarter of opposing hitters with dominant stuff while keeping it all under control with a 3.5 percent walk rate. He had a 2.41 ERA and 2.35 fielding-independent pitching in 13 starts before being promoted to High-A Clearwater just after turning 19.
Sanchez is easily the best pitching prospect in Philadelphia’s farm system and many consider him to be the top prospect in the system overall. He is even now starting to emerge as one of the best pitching prospects in baseball overall.
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MLB.com began their series of top-ten prospect rankings by position Tuesday, starting off with right-handed pitchers. Sanchez just made it onto the list as the tenth-best prospect, ranked behind other talented pitchers.
Dual-threat Shohei Otani led the way in the first spot, who will graduate early on in the season as he is expected to jump right into the major-leagues.
Houston’s Forrest Whitley is in the second spot and should take over the mantle as the top righty once Otani graduates.
Sanchez’s control was tied for the best among the prospects on the list along with Tampa Bay’s Brent Honeywell and Pittsburgh’s Mitch Keller.
Sanchez’s MLB Pipeline profile dives into why there is so much to like about his future:
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"It’s hard not to get excited about Sanchez’s combination of pure stuff and feel for pitching. While he is just six feet tall, he’s strong and athletic with a repeatable delivery that points to a future in a rotation. He can hit triple digits with his four-seam fastball and also features a two-seamer with a ton of sinking action. His fastball is better than its pure velocity because of its movement as well as his ability to command it extremely well. His secondary stuff continues to improve, with a breaking ball he adds and subtracts from and a changeup he shows a good feel for at times.Both will flash above-average to plus, and given his overall feel for pitching, there is confidence both will get there consistently in time."
MLB.com will continue to release their top-ten by position lists through next week before announcing their Top 100 list Jan. 27. Various Phils prospects should be littered throughout the lists.