PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies have a group of young pitchers that will be fighting for rotation jobs this spring.The best young arm in the Phillies' system is not ready for that opportunity, but he could move himself into position with a strong 2018. MLB Pipeline on Tuesday ranked Sixto Sanchez
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies have a group of young pitchers that will be fighting for rotation jobs this spring.
The best young arm in the Phillies' system is not ready for that opportunity, but he could move himself into position with a strong 2018. MLB Pipeline on Tuesday ranked Sixto Sanchez as the 10th-best right-handed prospect in baseball. He is the No. 47 prospect overall.
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Sanchez, 19, is expected to open the season with Class A Advanced Clearwater. He went 5-3 with a 2.41 ERA in 13 starts last season with Class A Lakewood before earning a promotion to Clearwater. He went 0-4 with a 4.55 ERA in five starts with the Threshers, but it should be noted that he was the youngest starting pitcher in the league.
In other words, don't let the record and ERA fool you.
Sanchez is legit. He regularly throws his fastball in the high 90s. He hits 100 mph on occasion. And he throws the pitch for strikes. He struck out 84 batters and walked just 18 in 95 innings.
No-hit stuff? The kid has it.
The guy everybody wants from the Phillies in a trade? Absolutely.
The next step for Sanchez will be fine-tuning his secondary pitches. If he does that, he could be starting for Double-A Reading before the end of the year. And then all bets are off from that point. Pitchers make the jump from Double-A to the big leagues all the time. It might not happen in 2018 for Sanchez, but it shouldn't be much longer than that if he develops as the Phillies expect.
Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.