2017 South Atlantic League Top 20 Prospects

Greenville (Red Sox) 3
Kannapolis (White Sox) 1
Best Record
Greenville (Red Sox), 79-60 (.568)
Most Valuable Player
Darick Hall, 1B, Lakewood (Phillies)
Pitcher Of The Year
Joey Wentz, LHP, Rome (Braves)

SEE ALSO: South Atlantic League Top 20 Chat

To qualify for a Minor League Top 20 Prospects list, a position player must have one plate appearance per team game, a starting pitcher must have one-third of an inning per team game and a reliever must have 20 relief appearances.

Usually the Sally League's top prospects are the best of the best. Just this decade we've seen Luis Severino, Jose Fernandez, Gary Sanchez, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado rank among the top five prospects on various year's Sally League Top 20s.

However for a second consecutive season, managers and scouts were a little disappointed in the caliber of prospects around the league. The modest debut seasons for 2016 top pick Mickey Moniak and fellow first-rounders Riley Pint, Jay Groome and Blake Rutherford played a part in that general malaise.

But Groome's Greenville club did get to celebrate a title. The Drive edged Charleston in the semifinals and then topped Kannapolis 3-1 in the best-of-5 championship series. It was Greenville's first Sally League title since 1970, when the league was still known as the Western Carolinas League.

1. Sixto Sanchez, RHP, Lakewood (Phillies) | 📹
Age: 19. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 185. Signed:

Dominican Republic, 2015.
The Phillies didn't want to stretch Sanchez out too much in 2017. He was kept on a tight pitch limit while in Lakewood-he never topped 80 pitches and usually was held to between 65-75. But he still managed to go five or more innings nearly every time out because of how efficient he was.

Sanchez is the rare 18-year-old who combines exceptional stuff (95-100 mph fastball) and advanced control. His command in the zone continues to improve, but his ability to throw strikes is already above-average. Shorter pitchers (Sanchez is 6-foot) often have a problem with home runs because their fastball lacks plane. It's not been an issue for Sanchez, as he's allowed one home run in three pro seasons.

Sanchez's curveball, slider and changeup all show flashes of being above-average pitches, but none of the trio is yet there. That's about the biggest complaint anyone lodged against one of baseball's best young pitching prospects. His combination of stuff and control makes him much more advanced than the average teenager.

5 3 2.41 13 13 0 67 46 19 18 1 9 64

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