In Grapefruit League action between the Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays, a top prospect made his much anticipated Spring Training debut, and proved why he could very well be the future of pitching in the MLB. Aaron Sanchez of the Jays didn’t disappoint during his start against the Rays on Friday afternoon. In fact, he dominated a Rays lineup that is very similar to the one they will most likely end up fielding come Opening Day.
In just 5.1 innings pitched, Sanchez proved that the tremendous amount of hype that surrounds him as one of baseball’s ‘next best thing’ is absolutely warranted. Sanchez was pitching the type of game that allowed him to get ground balls whenever he needed them, including one off the big bat of star third baseman, Evan Longoria. That type of control alone cements his debut as a more than impressive one, and one he could perhaps repeat again for the Jays sooner rather than later.
After showing exactly what everyone thought he was capable off and proving he is perhaps close to being able to face big league hitting on a daily basis, there’s reason to believe that the Jays may decide that they need the services of the 21 year old from Barstow, CA.
Injuries are inevitable, especially for the Jays. If they are serious about winning right now, they have to want to use the best that they can possibly put out there. At this point, Esmil Rogers and Chad Jenkins are not going to cut it if the Jays are forced to have to have them fill in if an untimely injury strikes. However, if it is deep into the season and the Jays are in a battle for a spot in the postseason, why not give Sanchez a shot to shine when it counts the most?
Initially, it may seem unlikely that Sanchez will become a mainstay on the Jays’ 40-man roster anytime soon, but the youngster isn’t willing to give up the answer to where he thinks he should and will be playing throughout this upcoming season. To me, that says that Sanchez is more than confident in his abilities and would be comfortable stepping on the rubber of any MLB ballpark sooner rather than later. Come September, if the Jays need to win and win quick, they may decide to ‘break the rules’ and give their future a shot to make their investment in him a reality.