The Blue Jays are headed to the postseason for the second consecutive year after winning an American League Wild Card. As this will be the first time that many fans across the Majors will be focusing on their roster, here's our attempt to learn the origins of ace Aaron Sanchez.Aaron
The Blue Jays are headed to the postseason for the second consecutive year after winning an American League Wild Card. As this will be the first time that many fans across the Majors will be focusing on their roster, here's our attempt to learn the origins of ace Aaron Sanchez.
Aaron Sanchez, RHP
Born: Barstow, Calif.
HS: Barstow (Calif.) High School
Minors: GCL Blue Jays (Rookie), Bluefield (Rookie), Auburn (Class A), Vancouver (Class A), Lansing (A), Dunedin (Class A Advanced), New Hampshire (Double-A), Buffalo (Triple-A)
Path to Toronto: Drafted by the Blue Jays in the first round, 34th overall, out of high school in 2010.
:: Before they were postseason-bound: Select a player ::
Trophy case: Led American League in ERA this season, 2016 All-Star, 2009 Aflac high school All-American.
Famous feat(s): Did not allow an earned run in nine postseason relief appearances in 2015, totaling 7 1/3 innings. Earned the win in deciding Game 5 of 2015 ALDS against the Rangers.
You might not know: Sanchez won 10 straight decisions this season from April 29 to July 25, becoming the first Blue Jays pitcher to do so in more than a decade -- Roy Halladay was the last, winning 15 straight decisions in 2003.
Six degrees of Willie Aikens: Sanchez's best friend on the Blue Jays is fellow pitcher Marcus Stroman, whom he first met in Toronto's instructional league in 2012. A year later, Sanchez and Stroman pitched for the same Arizona Fall League team, and were teammates with future big leaguers like the D-backs' Jake Lamb and the Cardinals' Stephen Piscotty.
"In the beginning, we were just friends. But we started hanging together in the Minors. Ever since then, we became brothers," Sanchez said of Stroman in an interview with Bleacher Report earlier this season.
A day all his own: Sanchez is the first Barstow native to make it to the Major Leagues as a player. Following his debut season in 2014, in which Sanchez posted a 1.09 ERA in 24 relief appearances, his hometown named Oct. 20, 2014 "Aaron Sanchez Day."
"Now therefore be it resolved," the official proclamation reads, "that the City Council of the City of Barstow does hereby declare October 20, 2014 as Aaron Sanchez Day and in doing so extends its gratitude to Mr. Sanchez for bringing honor and recognition to the City."
Full-grown giraffe: Sanchez's family friend, Jessie Griego, who was also coached by Sanchez's father and attended Sanchez's Major League debut, used to call Sanchez a "baby giraffe, because his arm was bigger than his body." Sanchez always threw harder than everyone else, though, so Griego figured when he "grew into his body, like a full-grown giraffe, he's going to be awesome."
David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter @_dadler.