Pittsburgh Pirates Draft: The Five Biggest Busts since 2002

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Tony Sanchez was considered the top college catching prospect in the 2009 draft.  He was drafted out of Boston College with the number four overall pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates., and many viewed Sanchez as the catcher of the future for the franchise.  He was an advanced hitter for a college catcher, and appeared to have above-average defensive skills.

Sanchez started off his Minor League career strong, batting .316 at Low-A (2009) and .314 (2010) at High-A.  However, he suffered a bean-ball to his face in 2010 and suffered a fractured jaw. After his broken jaw, he was never the same hitter again.  Another concern was that his defense behind the plate was not developing the way the Pirates hoped. Sanchez also got in trouble with the Pirates for issues in the off-season and on twitter.

Sanchez finally made his Major League debut in June on 2013.  He played in 22 games that season and hit .232 with two home runs.  He did not make the Opening Day roster for 2014, but appeared in another 26 games and posted a solid .267 batting average.  Many wondered why he was not getting more of an opportunity.  The reason is because of his poor defense behind the plate.  From 2013-2015 in the Pirate’s Minor Leagues his throw out percentage was below 15%, had trouble blocking pitches, and was not very good at framing pitches.  Essentially, the Pirates did not trust him behind the plate on a consistent basis and his offense was average at best.

The Pirates designated Tony Sanchez on January 6th of 2016, and they out-right released him on the 13th.  He was picked up by the Toronto Blue Jays and assigned to Triple-A.  There he has not produced much at all.  So far on the year he is batting .155 in 17 games.  For a number four overall pick, he surely has busted.  He already is 28 years of age and has only played in 51 Major League games.  With his current production at AAA for the Jays it does not seem he will be adding to that games played total any time soon.

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