Marlins Trade Pickup Franklin Sanchez Throws Heat
The Marlins traded two present big league relievers for a shot at a future one when they dealt Elieser Hernandez and Jeff Brigham to the Mets for 22-year-old righthander Franklin Sanchez in November.
“His raw pitch quality was as good as any reliever I saw all year,” said one rival scout of Sanchez, who he saw twice in 2022. “He is not a comfortable at-bat, especially for righthanded hitters. He’s lean with a long arm stroke. He’s got a long extension, and he gets on hitters fast.”
The Mets signed Sanchez, who is now 6-foot-6, 205 pounds, out of the Dominican Republic after the 2019 season. He had his 2020 season wiped out by the pandemic and has tossed just 63.1 innings the past two seasons.
Sanchez spent most of 2022 at Low-A St. Lucie, reaching High-A Brooklyn for four appearances. In 35.2 total innings he struck out 42, walked 21 and recorded a 3.79 ERA. He allowed one home run.
Sanchez made seven starts among his 17 appearances but never topped 61 pitches in any of them. In his 10 relief outings, he averaged two innings and about nine batters per appearances.
While Sanchez worked dual roles last season, the scout is clear about his future. He classified him as a classic reliever with big stuff but command and control issues. Sanchez’s delivery has been called ugly yet effective.
Sanchez’s fastball gets up to 97-98 mph with heavy sink and lots of movement over the last 10 feet. His slider is 89-91 with serious tilt.
“Those are two plus pitches if not plus-plus,” the scout said. “He didn’t execute them consistently, but at times his sinker and slider flashed as major league plus pitches.
“He doesn’t throw anything soft. He has shown some ability to adjust when he struggles to find the strike zone.”
— The Marlins parted with promising 19-year-old shortstop Jose Salas, who reached High-A last season, in the deal in which they traded righthander Pablo Lopez to the Twins for American League batting champion Luis Arraez.
— A pair of rehabbing Marlins pitching prospects rehabbing from Tommy John surgery are on the road back. Righthander Max Meyer, drafted third overall in 2020, had the procedure last August and is expected to miss most of the 2023 season.
Lefthander Jake Eder, a 2020 fourth-rounder who had a 1.77 ERA at Double-A in 2021, missed all of last season following Tommy John surgery.
“I saw him in October, and he was throwing bullets,” Marlins scouting director DJ Svihlik said. “His breaking ball hadn’t resurfaced yet. That’s the last thing to come. But he’s ready to go.”