Sánchez, who has been rehabbing in Jupiter, Fla., underwent surgery on July 20 to repair a capsular tear and clean out the back side of his right shoulder. At the time, general manager Kim Ng said the hope was for him to be with the club Opening Day 2022. Sánchez also would be able to pick up a baseball again three months after the procedure. Though B-roll in the YouTube video showed Sánchez working out in the weight room, it did not include footage of him throwing.
"Well, in my mind, I believe I'm 100 percent," Sánchez said via subtitles. "Thank God. Thanks to the hard work I've been doing every day at the training room and weight room. I feel 100 percent, and you will see a new version of Sixto Sánchez."
After posting a 132 ERA+ and triple-digit velocity across seven starts upon his debut in 2020, Sánchez was penciled in to be part of the Marlins' rotation in '21. Instead, he didn't throw a pitch for Miami after he experienced shoulder discomfort while appearing in a simulated game on March 31. His rehab stalled off and on until he underwent the surgery.
During his time away from the club, Sánchez said he received support from his family, friends and fellow Top 100 prospect Edward Cabrera, who made his MLB debut on Aug. 25. His fellow Dominican told him, "Brother, I'll be waiting for you in 2022! Keep working hard so you have a great year."
A healthy Sánchez, 23, would be a huge boost for Miami's talented rotation, which includes ace Sandy Alcantara, Pablo López, NL Rookie of the Year runner-up Trevor Rogers, Jesús Luzardo and Elieser Hernandez. Cabrera and Zach Thompson are other pitchers in the mix. Sánchez said to expect a different Sixto in 2022 -- featuring the same pitches but with more experience and focus.
"For me, it's very important, because I missed one year that I didn't want to miss," Sánchez said. "But after realizing I was going to miss the year, I started preparing myself mentally to work hard and do things right every day, so when I return in 2022, I'm ready to help my team and work hard together so we can win it all."