From The Archives: Anibal Sanchez
See also: Red Sox 2004 Top 10 Prospects
See also: Daily Dish Breaks Down Sanchez With Double-A Carolina
See also: Marlins Organization Report On Sanchez
See also: Carolina League 2005 Top 20 Prospects
See also: 2005 High Class A Best Tools
See also: Q&A With Sanchez In 2005
See also: Eastern League 2005 Top 20 Prospects
See also: New York-Penn League 2004 Top 20 Prospects
See also: Sanchez Leads The Prospect Hot Sheet
See also: Sanchez On The World Futures Game Squad In 2005
See also: Trade Central Analyzes The Deal That Sent Sanchez To Florida
In honor of Anibal Sanchez's no-hitter last night, we decided to go back into the archives and pull out our scouting report on Sanchez heading into the season. Because of the quirk of the trade timing, Sanchez actually didn't make the Marlins or the Red Sox Top 10 in the magazine (he was traded after the Marlins Top 10 ran and before the Red Sox Top 10), but he was the Marlins No. 3 prospect in the Prospect Handbook, and was the No. 5 prospect in the Red Sox system in 2004. And Baseball America subscribers have been following Sanchez for quite some time, as the list of links above will give you a chance to look back at Sanchez' development.
No. 3 Prospect
The Marlins tried to pry lefthander Jon Lester from the Red Sox in the Josh Beckett blockbuster, but Boston refused and gave up Sanchez. However, Sanchez is a premium prospect in his own right. Since missing all of 2003 after having surgery to transpose a nerve in his elbow, he has dominated minor league hitters while zooming to Double-A. He had an 88-90 mph fastball before his elbow operation, and now he sits at 93-95. Even with the life on his heater and his ability to command it, some scouts think his plus changeup is his best pitch. His changeup has good cutting action, and he deceives hitters by throwing it with the same arm speed as his fastball. Sanchez' third pitch is his curveball. It's a solid-average offering, albeit inconsistent and in need of some tightening. He has a fluid delivery, though at times he'll fly open with his shoulder, which results in flatter stuff sitting higher in the strike zone. He has good control, mound presence and an understanding of how to get hitters out. There were rumors that Sanchez injured his elbow late in the 2005 season, but they were unfounded. In an ideal world, Sanchez would open 2006 in Triple-A, but Florida has a desperate need for starters and may be tempted to bring him to the big leagues.