This guy is older than Felix and a few levels behind him, but in terms of making a splash on the scene and having a meteoric rise through the system ala Felix, I present to you, Anibal Sanchez. He seems to be on the fast track now, and a debut in AA can't be ruled out sometime this year. The following are 2 excerpts from Baseball America. the first is a snippet from the Prospect Hot List this week, the second from an Ask BA response regarding him. At the bottom, you'll find his numbers to this date. You guys in prospect leagues may want to tuck this one away before he becomes too well known:
5. Anibal Sanchez, rhp, Red Sox (High Class A Wilmington)
In five starts covering 26 innings, Sanchez has struck out a minor league-leading 44 batters while walking one. For the mathematically-challenged, that's a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 44/1. Want more ridiculousness? He's faced 54 righthanded batters so far this year, and 30 have whiffed.
Sanchez has been spectacular since making his U.S. debut last year. He spent the first two years of his career in the Rookie-level Venezuelan Summer League, then missed all of 2003 after having surgery to transpose a nerve in his elbow. He came back in 2004 to lead the short-season New York-Penn League in ERA (1.77) and strikeouts (101 in 76 innings) while ranking as the circuit's top pitching prospect. He hasn't missed a beat despite jumping two levels to high Class A this year, going 1-1, 3.86 with a 28-1 strikeout-walk ratio in 14 innings. Sanchez has limited hitters to a .204 average with one homer.
Sanchez' velocity has surged along with his prospect status. He pitched in the high 80s in Venezuela, but his fastball jumped to the mid-90s last year. He also has good life on his heater and can throw it for strikes to both sides of the plate. His curveball and changeup have their moments, though like most young pitchers he still needs to gain more consistency with his secondary pitches. If he does that, he definitely could pitch at the front of a rotation.
Sanchez is on the fast track, as evidenced by skipping a level this year. He's still just 21, so realistically he's at least two years from the majors.
5 G, 2-1, 2.42 ERA, 26 IP, 18 H, 10 R, 7 ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, 44 K (D.O.B. 2/27/84)