- Full name Duaner Sanchez
- Born 10/14/1979 in Cotui, Dominican Republic
- Profile Ht.: 6'2" / Wt.: 210 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Francisco E. Carvajal
- Debut 06/14/2002
Organization Prospect Rankings
Sanchez was a struggling starter until the Diamondbacks converted him into a reliever last spring and watched his fastball reach 102 mph on the radar gun at Double-A El Paso early in the season. Arizona traded Sanchez to the Pirates last July for veteran reliever Mike Fetters. Sanchez' fastball gained velocity and movement once he was used in shorter bursts. The heater normally sits in the 93-94 mph range, though he can dial it up to 97 when necessary. Sanchez also has a plus slider, though the Pirates asked him to shelve it in favor a curveball after he was called up in September. He has experience throwing a changeup from his days as a starter. Sanchez has extremely thin legs, which causes some to wonder about his long-term durability. His command also needs work. He's a bit of a free spirit who has yet to totally accept that he is now a reliever instead of a starter. Sanchez will compete for a middle-relief job in the Pittsburgh bullpen this spring, though he may need a few more months at Triple-A. He looks like the heir apparent to closer Mike Williams.
Sanchez pitched well enough last year to earn a spot on the 40-man roster. He has been likened to Dodgers lefthander Carlos Perez because of his animated, aggressive demeanor on the mound, but Sanchez throws much harder than Perez. Despite his small frame, Sanchez works in the low 90s. He still needs to improve his breaking pitch and develop a solid third pitch. His competitive nature will help him to advance further. He'll get strong consideration to start the season at El Paso, though Lancaster is a possibility. The Diamondbacks have a few righthanded starters who are more talented, but they have yet to show the durability of Sanchez, who ranked fourth in the Midwest League in innings in 2000.