Another catcher with upside, Sanchez is a guy to keep your eye on moving forward. Signed out of Venezuela, the catcher has some real upside and has been okay so far, but was hampered by a thumb injury last season that may have compromised his performance. Sanchez has a very high ceiling as catcher, due to his ability to stick behind the plate with many believing he’ll be able to hit as well.
R/R, 6’1″ 200 lbs, 1/20/1997 (20), Signed out of Venezuela on July 2nd, 2013 for $690,000
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Signed for $690,000 on July 2nd, 2013, Sanchez was one of the more highly touted catchers coming out of Venezuela. Blessed with very soft hands behind the dish, reports were in that Sanchez definitely has some defensive skill and the ability to hit.
Sanchez started out in the Dominican Summer League in 2014 and had a great year with the team as a 17 year old, hitting .303/.406/.394 in 50 games with 7 doubles and 3 homers. As a catcher, he was able to throw out 51% of baserunners, and showed some real aptitude behind the dish. With that performance, the Mets felt comfortable enough to send him stateside to the Gulf Coast League in 2015.
With the Complex-Level Rookie Gulf Coast League, Sanchez did okay, hitting .278/.339/.315 with 6 doubles in 46 games and then moved up during the final games to Advance-Rookie Kingsport, where he didn’t do as well hitting .182/.182/.182 in three games. Call it what it was, three games in Kingsport, and not many took that small sample size seriously. Runners didn’t do much better, as Sanchez allowed only 46% of his challengers on the base-paths pass. Oddly, Sanchez played an inning in right field while playing for Gulf Coast.
The 20 year old Sanchez is a very talented backstop with great potential with the glove, and the bat. Sanchez has a nice smooth and quick stroke that is geared for contact. He is great at making contact but needs a little work on his discipline to draw more walks. Sanchez hasn’t hit for much power yet, but he’s 20 years old, and it looks like he hasn’t learned to use leverage, but he has a little pop, enough for some nice gap power, and possibly up to 10 homers annually.
The most value lies in his glove, where he is a very smooth defender behind the plate, setting a good target, and calling a good game. While his arm only slightly above-average, he has a very quick release with great accuracy that has nabbed 49% of would-be base stealers in his career so far. He is very good at blocking balls in the dirt, and saving runs.
Sanchez potentially seems like a high-ceiling Catcher who is excellent behind the plate and a good contact hitter with a chance to hit for a little bit of pop. I’m not too worried by Brooklyn’s performance offensively, and believe he will be moved up to Full-Season Columbia for 2017. There we hope to see Brooklyn’s hitting as an aberration for Ali Sanchez.
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