This past week, the Pittsburgh Pirates called Tony Sanchez to the big leagues because he was the best option for a right handed hitter in the Bucs system. The team was headed west for five games in American League ballparks against the Angels and Mariners. The forecast schedule showed the Pirates playing games against two left-handed starters, but of course, an injury changed that to just one southpaw.
Sanchez, the first-round pick in 2009, blasted a double into the wall in Anaheim and had a base knock in Seattle, hence the move proved to be the right one. It’s not like calling up Sanchez was some difficult decision; It wasn’t brain surgery or a triple bypass for the Bucs to decide who was the best option to call up– Sanchez was in the top five in the International league in OPS despite playing at the pitcher friendly Victory Field.
So, with Sanchez headed back to Indianapolis what did we learn?
The kid has power. He displayed it at the Triple-A level. Neal Huntington said it’s power that will play in the big leagues. [Podcast link]
The kid gains attention. He made Deadspin, for cryin’ out loud.
He also is a boon to the Pittsburgh media. Some whispers about Sanchez and his throwing ability came to light. But don’t forget those have been around for a long time. It’s not like this is something new. So, what do we think it is? It’s controversy, and that sells newspapers. That sells radio ads. Don’t be confused.
Huntington addressed the topic directly in the RumBunter podcast around the 22:00 mark. Here is a part of it…
He’s not the only catcher it happens to. He’s made throwing errors because he is working through it. And that’s a great thing. I don’t know if I would carry it that far.
So let’s also not be confussed when Sanchez goes to AAA. The kid received Major League instruction (again.) He got a couple knocks in the bigs, one that left a mark in Anaheim.
Sanchez is checking items off the list. The Pirates are doing a tremendous job of getting talented players up to the majors for a taste in 2013. And oh, by the way? they have the best record in the game while doing it. But we wanted to be sure about these lingering whispers so we reached out to a few people on this topic.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have all the faith in the world in their first round pick from 2009. As they did earlier this season, if the Pirates need a catcher, they will not hesitate to call him back up.
He presently throws better than a number of active major league catchers. And we already have seen him hit better than a few, too.