White Sox prospect Sanchez continues success
Salt River infielder plates four runs, bumps Fall League average up to .312 in win
The 20-year-old infielder plated four runs for the second time this fall on a 2-for-4 afternoon Monday, raising his AFL average to .312 as he paced first-place Salt River to an 8-4 win over Mesa.
The White Sox's No. 7 prospect is batting .312/386/.390 with 10 stolen bases and 16 RBIs in 20 games for the Rafters. Those numbers track well with his output this season as Sanchez advanced from Class A Advanced Winston-Salem to Triple-A Charlotte, with a cameo in the Futures Game in the middle.
With the Dash in the Carolina League, Sanchez began his season by hitting .315 with a .374 OBP, swiping 19 bags and getting caught 10 times, in 92 games. It was a marked improvement on the .288 batting average he posted in 63 games for Class A Kannapolis in 2011.
Sanchez earned a promotion to Double-A Birmingham in late July on the strength of that production, and he fared even better in the Southern League. The Venezuela native hit .370/.424/.462 with nine doubles and a triple in 30 games for the Barons.
He was called up once more to Charlotte to end the season. In 11 games with the Knights, he hit .256, including a 3-for-3 performance with a double and an RBI on the final day of the year.
"All I was trying to do was work hard and the situation [where I kept being promoted] just presented itself. I tried to do my best at every level," Sanchez said through translator Bobby Magallanes, who managed him at Birmingham this season. "It wasn't easy, but I worked hard with the coaches and managers to do a good job."
Sanchez has played second base, shortstop and third at various times this season while showcasing a quick bat and a generally measured approach. He finished with a .323/.378/.403 line with 41 walks, 92 strikeouts and a 26 stolen bases in 133 games overall this year -- just his second season of professional ball in the United States.
"I'm absolutely very happy with the way [the season] has gone, and I want to continue to work hard," he noted. "Every day [in Arizona] I come out here and I feel I'm getting better, improving my offense and defense."
On Monday, top Nationals prospect Anthony Rendon doubled and scored twice, while No. 12 Washington prospect Matt Skole finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs, two runs and a walk.
The Solar Sox were led by Astros prospect Jiovanni Mier, who went 3-for-5 with a double and a run. Fellow Houston prospect George Springer added his fourth homer of the AFL slate in the fourth and top Tigers prospect Nick Castellanos hit a bases-clearing double to bring in three runs in the seventh.