Sixto Sanchez

25-Year-Old PitcherP
2023 Fantasy Outlook
Sanchez's last professional pitch was thrown Oct. 8, 2020. When he'll throw his next one is anyone's guess. Injury concerns have long been part of Sanchez's profile, but the extent to which he's been slammed by ailments over the last two seasons is rare. Shoulder issues began prior to the 2021 season and eventually led to surgery in July of that year. Initial reports once he arrived at camp last year held that he could return around midseason, but while he was able to begin throwing bullpen sessions in late July, he was shut down again in mid-August due to renewed discomfort. A cortisone shot didn't do the trick, and he eventually underwent another surgery in early October. In theory, he'll be ready to go by spring training, but expecting things to suddenly go as planned following years of setbacks seems like wishful thinking. That makes him harder to like as a lottery ticket despite his youth and talent. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
$Signed a one-year contract with the Marlins in March of 2020.
Doesn't make scheduled appearance
PMiami Marlins
September 19, 2023
Sanchez (shoulder) did not make a second appearance with Double-A Pensacola on Sunday as scheduled, reports.
Sanchez did throw a scoreless inning for Pensacola on Sept. 12 in what was his first appearance at any level since 2020. Evidently, he must not have recovered from that outing as hoped, so his next appearance was scratched. Sanchez is slated to throw a bullpen session soon, so there's a slim chance he'll make it back to game action again before the end of the minor-league season.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Sixto Sanchez See More
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232 days ago
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
It would be hard for a prospect's redraft and dynasty value to crater as much as Sanchez's has over the past year. He was arguably the top pitching prospect in baseball last winter and was getting drafted inside the top 150 of redraft leagues following his impressive showing in 2020. Elevated injury risk due to his age and fastball velocity were noted in his 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 outlooks, and indeed, his shoulder started barking last spring and he ended up getting season-ending surgery in July after trying to go the rest and rehab route for over three months. Since then, there have been reports that Sanchez has not adhered to the team's rehab plan for him, so there are now makeup concerns on top of the already very serious injury concerns. Sanchez is extremely talented when healthy, but history has taught us to not assume young pitchers will make full recoveries from incredibly significant setbacks like the one he endured in 2021.
An underwhelming finish to his rookie season allows for Sanchez to be drafted as an SP3, rather than as an SP2. Even when he scuffled down the stretch, Sanchez's fastball velocity was constant, his command and control were just off. Throwing strikes was not an issue as he cruised through the minors, bypassing Triple-A altogether, so it seems illogical to expect the bad version of Sanchez in 2021. Worth noting: he dominated the Braves in his first matchup, and was chased early the next two times they saw him. While capable of double-digit strikeout games, Sanchez is more focused on inducing weak contact (58.0 GB%) than missing bats. He has three 70-grade pitches in his 97 mph sinker, 99 mph four-seamer and 89 mph changeup, while also mixing in a power slider and mid-80s curveball. His age (22) and velocity elevate his risk of injury, and he probably won't throw more than 160 innings in his first full season.
The most important aspects of Sanchez's season were that he threw a career-high 114 innings and finished the season healthy. Miami held him back to start the year (May 3 debut) to allow him to finish strong after throwing 46.2 innings in 2018 due to elbow inflammation. The plan worked, as the 6-foot righty had a 0.95 ERA, 0.74 WHIP and 39:7 K:BB in 47.1 IP over his final eight starts. He has a pair of 70-grade pitches in his upper-90s fastball and upper-80s changeup. His slider is coming along as a solid third pitch. He also has plus command, which is very rare for a 21-year-old who touches triple-digits. Sanchez is more pitcher than thrower, and his strikeout rate could improve as he hones his craft. He is high-risk from a health standpoint, simply because he is a short pitcher who throws really hard. Sanchez will open the year at Triple-A, but could join the big-league rotation in short order.
The top two predictors for Tommy John surgery: throwing really hard and recent elbow trouble. Unfortunately Sanchez gets a big checkmark in both boxes. He was touching 101 mph early in 2018 and hit the disabled list at High-A with elbow inflammation in early June. Sanchez resumed throwing in August, but never returned to game action and was scratched from the Arizona Fall League with right collarbone soreness. While his strikeout rates are not otherworldly, he looks the part of a future big-league ace when he is at his best, showing a potentially 70-grade changeup and plus breaking ball to go with that 80-grade fastball. One realistic scenario: he reports to camp 100% healthy, dominates Double-A and Triple-A hitters, and is the Phillies' No. 2 starter in 2020. Another realistic scenario: he misses a good chunk of 2019 with more elbow issues, gets Tommy John surgery in the fall and misses all of 2020, reporting to Double-A to start the 2021 season.
With a fastball that can touch 100 mph and the coolest name in the minor leagues, Sanchez has blown up as a coveted asset in dynasty leagues. In addition to his monster fastball, Sanchez throws far more strikes than the typical teenage fireballer. Those are easily his two most impressive traits. His changeup could wind up being a high-end second pitch, but it still needs refining, and his slider and curveball also flash above-average potential. A lot of the same stuff was said about Michael Kopech in past years, and now he is widely considered the game's best pitching prospect, but that's not to say there isn't significant risk in investing in a high-velocity teenager with developing secondaries. His height (six feet) also stands out as a risk factor, as shorter pitchers typically struggle to get downward plane on their fastball. However, he has given up just two home runs in 174.2 innings. Sanchez should head back to High-A to begin 2018, and he appears to be on track for an MLB debut in 2019.
Sanchez, who was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2015, made his stateside debut last year as a 17-year-old in the Gulf Coast League. He was impressive in 11 starts, going 5-0 with a 0.50 ERA and a 44:8 K:BB in 54 innings. Sanchez is just six feet tall, but he has a mid-90s fastball with movement that tops out at 99 mph. He has shown good command of that pitch for someone of his age and experience. Sanchez also boasts a curveball and changeup that each have a chance to be plus offerings in time. While he is shorter than most starting pitching prospects, Sanchez is a sturdy 200 pounds, and has a starter's repertoire and command. Dynasty league owners will only hold a pitcher's size against him for so long, so this is a good time to buy. He is expected to open the season at Low-A Lakewood, and if he starts missing more bats with his secondaries, he will go from trendy sleeper to top-100 prospect in a hurry.
More Fantasy News
Making 2023 debut
PMiami Marlins
September 11, 2023
Sanchez (shoulder) will be reinstated from Triple-A Jacksonville's 60-day injured list and will be assigned to Double-A Pensacola on Tuesday, when he's expected to throw one inning or 20 pitches in a game, Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald reports.
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Making progress with shoulder
PMiami Marlins
September 8, 2023
Sanchez (shoulder) will throw a bullpen session with Double-A Pensacola on Saturday, Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald reports.
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Cleared to face hitters
PMiami Marlins
August 29, 2023
Sanchez (shoulder) was scheduled to throw a 20-pitch live batting practice session Sunday, Daniel Alvarez-Montes of reports.
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Tosses bullpen session
PMiami Marlins
July 25, 2023
Sanchez (shoulder) completed a 19-pitch bullpen session Friday, Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald reports.
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Resumes throwing program
PMiami Marlins
July 3, 2023
Sanchez (shoulder) has resumed throwing at 90-105 feet, Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald reports.
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