Marlins not rushing top prospect Sanchez

Hill: 'It’s a special arm. You keep him healthy and you keep building'

July 24th, 2019

CHICAGO -- Sixto Sanchez has found a comfort zone at Double-A Jacksonville, and the Marlins remain in no hurry to rush the development of their top prospect.

On Tuesday, Sanchez made his 13th start of the season for the Jumbo Shrimp, and 15th overall counting two earlier in the year at Class A Advanced Jupiter. He allowed two hits over seven scoreless innings, striking out nine and walking none to lower his ERA to 3.20.

Ranked as the 21st overall prospect on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 list, Sanchez continues to build up innings, reaching 87 after Tuesday's outing.

“It’s a special arm,” Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. “You keep him healthy and you keep building.”

Sanchez turns 21 on Monday, and thus far, the Marlins have not been in a hurry to promote him to Triple-A New Orleans.

“We haven’t talked specifically about doing anything other than letting him take the ball every five days,” Hill said. “He’s already approaching career innings for him. It’s just a matter of getting him into that routine and taking the ball every five days, and going out there and competing.”

Sanchez is on an undisclosed innings limit after logging just 46 2/3 in 2018 at Class A Advanced Clearwater, when he was in the Phillies’ system.

The Marlins acquired Sanchez, catcher , left-hander Will Stewart (Miami's No. 21 prospect) and international bonus pool money from the Phillies in February for J.T. Realmuto.

A year ago, Sanchez was shut down due to right elbow inflammation. The hard-throwing right-hander was eased into the 2019 season, and he’s closing in on 90 total innings.

At Jupiter, Sanchez had two of his closest friends as teammates – pitching prospects Edward Cabrera and Jorge Guzman.

“We’re just continuing his development and his growth,” Hill said. “Keeping him healthy, first and foremost. I think both our training staff and our coaching staff have done a great job in managing him.”

Early in Spring Training, the Marlins worked with Sanchez on fine-tuning his delivery.

“We had delivery work that we wanted to get accomplished with him before he stepped on the field,” Hill said. “He has worked hard with that. I think you’re seeing that growth and development.”

Worth noting

Shortstop (sore right shoulder) isn’t expected to start Wednesday's game against the White Sox, but he may be available to hit during the Chicago series. With a scheduled off-day on Thursday, Rojas will get extra time to rest. The hope is he returns to Friday's lineup against the D-backs in Miami.