Trade rumors throughout the offseason that included Toronto Blue Jays No.1 starting pitching prospect Aaron Sanchez had fans holding their breath. An episode of Noah Syndergaard part-two would have been unacceptable; Jays’ fans could ill-afford to lose another top-flight young gun. Sanchez is the golden-child and crown jewel of Toronto’s future.
The 21-year-old California-native is ahead of the curve when it comes to scouting success in the big leagues. The power-armed righty employs silky-smooth mechanics, an effortless delivery, a 12-6 knee-buckling hammer and a fastball that not only has the radar gun putting in work but also has hitters consistently unable to zero-in on its late-tailing action.
No prospect is without their faults, though, and one concern about Sanchez is his current lack of control on any given night where his inner-Nuke Laloosh makes its dreaded appearance. One could witness a dominant, double digit punch-out performance one game and the flip side of an evening full of frustrating free-passes the next — otherwise known as “failing to breath through your eyelids”. Baltimore Orioles‘ fans just had Daniel Cabrera flashbacks of the cringe variety.
His four-year minor league career K/9 and BB/9 slash lines:
K/9: 2010: 13.3 / 2011: 9.3 / 2012: 9.7 / 2013: 7.8
BB/9: 2010: 6.1 / 2011: 4.3 / 2012: 5.1 / 2013: 4.2
Unlike Cabrera, Sanchez has the intangibles required to improve. The 2013 dip in his K-rate shouldn’t be cause for concern as it was coupled with a career-best 1.19 WHIP. Sanchez is honing his craft right before our eyes. The kid hasn’t even gotten his feet wet above the Single A Florida State League, but the fast-track is calling.
The likes of Marcus Stroman and Sean Nolin are going to receive the first crack at infiltrating the Blue Jays’ rotation and deservedly so, but once Sanchez deems ready for the spotlight, make way. A few bumps in the road are to be expected as Sanchez earns his learner’s permit, however, cruise-control should set in soon enough.
Citizens of Tower City rejoice; your next staff-ace will be arriving in short order.