Five things for Phillies fans to look forward to in 2019
A potential Sixto Sanchez breakout year
Sixto Sanchez came into 2018 with high expectations of him. With the imminent graduation of J.P. Crawford to the majors, Sanchez was set to become the top prospect in the farm system. There was plenty of reason to rank him so highly as he possesses all of the tools needed to become a frontline starter.
More from That Balls Outta Here
- How Phillies’ Ranger Suárez is set to build on 2022 postseason dominance
- What can Philadelphia Phillies expect from Bryson Stott in 2023?
- 3 Reasons to get excited for Phillies’ Craig Kimbrel signing
- 11 Free-agent deals the Philadelphia Phillies wish fell through
- Phillies-Mets owners’ rivalry grows after shocking Carlos Correa deal
Sanchez started the year in High-A Clearwater, but he didn’t spend too long there. After being held out to start the season, he made just eight starts before winding up on the disabled list with elbow inflammation. Thankfully the injury did not require surgery, but it still is worth monitoring. Sanchez was expected to return to action in the Arizona Fall League, but he was held out with a sore collarbone.
When Sanchez was on the mound in Clearwater, he looked dominant. He posted a 2.51 ERA, 2.66 fielding-independent pitching, 23.9% strikeout rate, and 5.9% walk rate. Opposing hitters had a .223 batting average as Sanchez left 75.1% of runners on base.
With Sanchez healthy this year, he is poised for a major breakout. He already ranks among the top 30 prospects in the league and could climb into the top 10 with a good season. Sanchez could start the year in Double-A Reading at just 20 years old and could very well rise to Triple-A before he will be allowed to buy alcohol. If everything breaks right, there is even an off chance he could make it to the majors by the end of the season.
While there will certainly be plenty of focus on the major-league team, Sanchez’s development will also be worth following as the year progresses. As long as he is healthy, he has a great chance of taking a major step forward.