27-Year-Old Catcher – Free Agent
2016 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
The fourth overall pick in 2009 teased fantasy owners with his hitting ability in past years, but he took another step back in 2015. Defense had been his weakness, but Sanchez underwhelmed at the dish...
Tony Sanchez Contract Information:
Released by the Pirates in January 2016.
Sanchez was unconditionally released by the Pirates on Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Tribune's Rob Biertempfel reports.
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Tony Sanchez: MLB Games Played By Position
Tony Sanchez: Minor League Games Played By Position
Tony Sanchez Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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2015 Stat Review for Tony Sanchez As compared to the top 200 hitters in 2015 (min 420 PA)
Good contact skills often lead to better fantasy stats.
SLG and ISO are useful indicators of power.
Patience at the plate often leads to positive outcomes.
A couple of useful stats for evaluating a hitter.
Tony Sanchez: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Sanchez suffers from a severe case of the yips and has trouble throwing to any of the bases -- not a good future predictor for a catcher. In addition, he threw out just eight of 63 baserunners at Triple-A in 2014. As a result, the Pirates are considering him as a potential platoon partner at first baseball in addition to his duties behind the plate. The Bucs aren't particularly enamored with his bat -- he hit .225/.337/.422 in with 11 homers in 313 plate appearances with Indianapolis -- but have few viable right-handed hitting options. His bat plays better as a catcher than as a first baseman, but the team may be forced to give him a look at first.
Four seasons after being taken by the Bucs with the fourth overall pick in 2009, Sanchez made his major league debut. He served as Francisco Liriano's personal catcher for a short while, but finished with only 66 ABs in his rookie season. The Boston College product perhaps fell out of favor with the team the last couple years before stringing together a solid .288/.368/.504 line with 10 homers and 42 RBI in 260 Triple-A at-bats last summer. Although he's blocked by Russell Martin behind the plate for 2014, he could move into the starter's role the following season or if injuries strike this summer. Pittsburgh selected catching prospect Reese McGuire in the first round of the 2013 draft, giving Sanchez a finite window to prove his major-league value.
Sanchez inched closer to the majors in 2012, getting his first taste of Triple-A action. He hit .233/.316/.408 with eight homers in 206 at-bats for Indianapolis after starting the year at Double-A. The first-round draft choice batted .277 in 141 Double-A at-bats before gaining a promotion. His defense plays well enough -- he threw out 31 percent of Triple-A baserunners -- that the Pirates might give him his first big-league shot as a backup in 2013. Somewhat surprisingly, they didn't give him that chance last September. Injuries have handicapped Sanchez's progress through the minors, and the addition of Russell Martin will limit his upside to that of a backup over the next two seasons.
Sanchez went from a franchise catching prospect to bust in the span of a year. Mostly likely he fits somewhere in between. Sanchez questioned Double-A umpiring early in the 2011 season and actually was encouraged to quit Tweeting because of the controversy. He hit .241/.340/.318 with just five homers in 402 at-bats after missing most of 2010 with a broken jaw. The 2009 fourth overall pick will get another crack at Double-A in 2012. It wouldn't be surprising to see him overcome his mediocre 2011 and push his way back into the organization's major league picture. Catchers sometimes take more time to develop than others and the Pirates are certainly hoping that is the case with Sanchez.
Sanchez got hit in the head twice by pitches last season, breaking his jaw the second time. The 2009 first-round draft pick came back in time for the Arizona Fall League and hit four homers in 68 at-bats. His composite line of .206/.289/.397 must be tempered by the fact that he was just happy to be back playing after a rough five months. The 22-year-old right-handed hitting catcher is the heir apparent backstop to Chris Snyder in 2012. He's known more for his defense, such as framing pitches, but he's strung together decent offensive numbers (.312/.413/.494) in parts of two minor league seasons and 385 at-bats from rookie ball to High-A. The Pirates project Sanchez to get upwards of a full season in at Double-A, health permitting. Sanchez is the only decent catching prospect in the Pittsburgh organization and has a chance to hit somewhere around .280 with 20 homers and 80 RBI in the majors down the road.
Sanchez was thought to be a nearly universal reach when the Pirates took him fourth overall in the 2009 draft. A defensive whiz known for his framing of pitches, Sanchez surprised onlookers with a .316/.415/.561 line at Low-A before spending the end of the year (three games) at High-A. The Pittsburgh organization will be happy if he matures into a .270 or .280 hitter with some pop, but his bread and butter will be his advanced defensive skills. At 21, Sanchez is seen as the long-term replacement for Ryan Doumit. He probably won't play for the Bucs in 2010 -- given the team's financial frugality -- but he is on the fast track.