June 2, 2014
Notes from the Field
Studying Aaron Sanchez
Over the course of a season, I like to get multiple looks at a starting pitcher prospect as a baseline for establishing developmental trends and gauging progression. Similar to when sitting on a position player prospect for a series or stretch of games, there can be variability from look to look in regards to what you see. It’s possible, for instance, that in an isolated appearance a pitcher is working on one particular pitch or certain aspect of his game that doesn’t reveal the full scope of his arsenal. Or, the arm just doesn’t have it, for whatever reason, on a given night. It’s important when building the book to be able to reference reports from various points in time to compare, contrast, and look for clues that assist with making projections.
Aaron Sanchez entered the season high on my radar, and I knew I’d get plenty of opportunities to see him over the course of 2014 given his assignment to the Eastern League. As things would line up, I was able to catch Sanchez three times over the course of the first six weeks of the season, and build a solid base on which to follow up deeper into the schedule.
First report: April 15th.
Second report: May 3rd.
Third report: May 10th.
Conclusion: Sanchez’s raw stuff shines when on the mound, but his rough edges and needs equally stand out. This arm is very much a work in progress, presently. Between the hard, heavy action of his fastball and crisp, deep break to the curveball his repertoire can dominate a lineup and should continue to do so as he advances. But the inconsistent fastball command within the zone and bouts of wildness leave doubts as to whether the full potential will be maximized over the long run. The delivery looks to have limitations when it comes to his ability to consistently throw downhill. The follow-up looks deeper into the year will serve as chances to evaluate what kind of progress is being made.