So What’s Up With Tony Sanchez?


The Pittsburgh Pirates have a great deal riding on their farm system.

The system gets discussed at length by Pirates management, fans, and blogs.  It’s the future.  It will impact the upcoming trade deadline along with future deadlines.

The numerous people that invest a great deal of time ranking farm systems have said the Pirates farm system is on the rise.   Heading into the season, it was something we were really looking forward to watching, especially the returning Eastern League champion Altoona Curve.

What talent would develop from the AA ballclub into impact players for the Pittsburgh Pirates?  The roster was filled with dynamic players.  It was talent rich.  What players would surprise us?

So you could imagine my surprise when we read  that the first half of the 2011 Curve season was so disappointing, in fact, the players were described as lacking enthusiasm and emotion.  The team was compared to a skunk.   

That stinks.

Especially when one of the most promising players who is expected to be a part of the Pirates future appears to be having a similar season.

When we saw Tony Sanchez at Spring Training he was full of energy and excitement.  After watching him interact with the veterans, his relentless work ethic and never ending focus, it surprised me when I started digging into his stats for this post. It downright shocked me.

He was great in an interview for this website.

Sanchez is enthusiastic. He has a magnetic personality.  Is he becoming bogged down with the countless team meetings by the new manager?  What the hell happened to such a promising talent?

We found our answer at PNC Park recently during the interviews we conducted with other Pirates blogs.

Neal Huntington said Sanchez got in trouble when he started trying to improve his power numbers.  He went on to explain what has happened with Sanchez this season.

"“Tony got himself in trouble a little bit earlier this year because his home-run numbers were down. It’s bad when a young hitter tries to hit home runs. That’s a lesson we try to teach every one of the young hitters.  Be a good hitter first…….when you sit in the box and sit and rip, you become an out, you become a much easier out, you open up a lot of holes.”"

Sounds like Huntington describing Pedro Alvarez a little bit doesn’t it?   Unlike Alvarez, Sanchez is still trying to figure it out and is hitting just .222 in his past ten games with a .678 OPS.

For some reason we have lost interest in following Tony Sanchez.  He’s simply not exciting to this point in the year.  He blends in with the other talent on the field, sometimes he even appears average.  Who knows, maybe it was his twitter account being shut down, the blown save mentality that has become the Curve, the lack of production, but whatever the reason it’s how we feel.

We can’t remember that happening in a long, long time.  We trust Sanchez changes that soon.

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