3/4 arm slot; loose, efficient delivery; fast arm; uneven pace -- tends to speed up at tail end; lands square towards home plate; front foot can slightly drift towards first base; keeps head on target; inconsistent keeping arm out in front with fastball -- leads to inconsistent release and lack of finish; minimal lower body incorporation.
New Hampshire Fisher Cats (AA, Blue Jays)
No 3 Starter
Command: below-average; Movement: hard arm-side run and bore at 92-94; ride in upper band.
Notes: Pitch comes out of hand very easily; lot of late life/explosiveness; when running will miss barrels; comfortably sat 93-95; consistently missed spots by wide margin; worked in middle of the plate too often – hittable above mid-thighs; failed to spot across plate; will back up into plate.
Command: solid-average; Movement: over-hand break with power in upper band; bigger bend and depth in lower band.
Notes: Throws with a loose wrist; feels pitch well; confidence to throw at any point in the count; swing-and-miss weapon at 80-82; will alter shape and change eye level; can easily throw for strikes; by far best offering in arsenal.
Command: Below-average; Movement: arm-side fade.
Notes: On the firm side and tended to float; lacked action; used sparingly; showed more feel as outing progressed; consistent arm-speed and body; didn’t appear to trust offering – needs to throw more and work systematically into sequences rather than afterthought.
The quality of Sanchez's raw stuff, mainly his fastball and curveball in this outing, jumped out immediately. I liked the way the pitcher doesn't waste much energy or strain to generate fastball velocity, along with the type of run and bore the offering shows. It's a fastball that is more than capable of missing barrels when located properly due to the heavy action in conjunction with high velocity.
I do have concerns about the pitcher's present fastball command and future growth of this area, and reflected that in the grade. While Sanchez is athletic and a loose thrower, he doesn't finish his delivery well and has trouble consistently staying out in front of the pitch. I didn't see any trouble with his landing or staying square to the plate. It was more in the pace of his delivery when releasing his fastball, which slightly varied at the tail end than when throwing his other offerings. My feel is that this aspect of his game is always going to be inconsistent and a battle to maintain over the long-run.
What's interesting is that Sanchez showed no problem with his curveball. In fact, his command of the offering was like night and day from his heater. The curve displayed excellent spin and very tight rotation. And, Sanchez also varied the shape with ease depending on the situation. It's the type of pitch you'd like to see thrown 30 times a game as opposed to relegated to a 1 inning role. Well above-average is within the reach. It should get major-league hitters out with frequency.
The changeup was mostly an afterthought in this outing and only delivered a handful of times. Based on the way it was thrown without a ton of trust, I can guess that the pitcher has likely handled the low minors with his fastball-curve combo. More usage of this offering in sequences, or at the very least showing it earlier, is necessary to have sustained success in a starter's role.
I saw front-line type of stuff, but some ways to go when it comes to polish and evolving into a pitcher. The overall grade reflects my belief that the gap will not be fully closed in the key developmental areas outlined above, which will cause the stuff to play down against premium hitters.