Pittsburgh Pirates Top Prospects: Number 12 Lolo Sanchez
The regular season is less than two weeks away, as we continue to break down our Top 20 Pittsburgh Pirates prospect list. Here is number 12 on the list.
Over the last few years, the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system has been considered one of the best in baseball. However, after enjoying a period of playoff baseball, and in turn picking lower in the draft, they have seen their system fall toward the middle of the pack. Still, rankings by scouting websites are not everything. They have plenty of intriguing prospects who could break out just as much as a team with a top farm system.
With that being said, we have come up with our top 20 prospects for the 2018 season. The articles will look at each player, starting at 20 and working toward one. So far we have looked at pitchers Clay Holmes at number 20, Gage Hinsz at number 19, Travis MacGregor at 18, and left-handed starter Braeden Ogle at 17. The first hitter to show up on our count down was Calvin Mitchell at number 16 and Oneil Cruz at number 15. Coming in at number 14 was 2017 draft pick Steven Jennings, and he was followed by Luis Escobar at number 13 overall. Now, let’s see who is ranked at number 12.
Number 12 Overall
One area of strength that the Pittsburgh Pirates have had over the years is finding international outfield prospects. This can be seen with current major league players, such as Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco. While those two moved up the minor league levels, they quickly became noted as two of the top prospects in baseball. Now it looks as if the Pittsburgh Pirates may have another Dominican outfield prospect on the same track.
Lolo Sanchez signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2016 for a bonus of $450K. He signed out of Santo Domingo, which is in the Dominican Republic. While he goes by Lolo, his given name is Kevin Bryan Sanchez. The current 18-year-old outfielder stands at 6’0” and his listed weight is just 150 pounds. He has played in two seasons thus far, including games in 2016 as well as 2017. The outfielder is considered to be a plus fielder, and Sanchez should stick in centerfield long term. He is a right-handed hitter and throws with his right arm. Also, Sanchez is considered a potential five tool player. He has a good discipline for his age, has pop in his bat, has a plus arm, and, as noted earlier, will stick in centerfield. However, Sanchez’s best tool is his speed, which helps him both on the base paths and as a defender.
Minor League Career
As mentioned earlier, Sanchez has performed in parts of two years for the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. His first taste of professional baseball came in 2016 when he competed in the Dominican Sumer League, or the DSL. Sanchez played in 45 games in 2016, and put up a mediocre batting average of .235, but he did get on base at a impressive .359 clip. He only slugged at a .275 clip, but this could be a result of his size and young age. Then, this past season, Sanchez really broke out at the Gulf Coast level. He put up a really impressive slash line of .284/.359/.417 in 51 games. The most impressive thing about Sanchez thus far is his discipline. He has managed to strike out just 37 times in 96 games. Furthermore, he has walked more than he has struck out, compiling 45 base on balls.
Sanchez will likely head to Low-A West Virginia this year. It will be an aggressive move for him at the young age of 18. However, if he continues to show an exceptional eye at the plate, he should be able to continue on the fast track through the minors. Most players his age spend multiple seasons in the GCL learning the details of hitting, but Sanchez seems to have already surpassed most players his age. Also, he possesses all the tools that one wants in an outfielder, and his power should continue to develop as he fills out his frame. This is why he is already pushing for a top 10 prospect ranking, and why he should eventually be one of the elite prospects in the system.