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Question. How much of this year's version of Sanchez have you seen versus last year's? I hadn't seen him until this year, but always heard he had great stuff, but was a wreck mechanically and his changeup was useless but still being worked on. I was just curious if you have any firsthand knowledge of how much his mechanics have improved, because they don't seem too bad this year. Since they have helped out Verlander and Zumaya with mechanics with great results, if the same has been done for Sanchez, the Tigers might have something real special going on down there in the minors in regards to developing pitchers.hybrid wrote:He seems like a poor mans Zumaya. By that I mean he has a good mid 90's FB and a very nice curve, both steps below Zumaya's stuff. Another comparison is that he doesn't have a 3rd pitch, as his change up is just average. One thing to watch is his weight and mechanics, as he has been hurt a few times recently.
His potential might be better used in the bull pen, especially for this year as the Tigers are pitching well. Though w/ Zumaya already having a lock on "future closer", they will probably try and keep him at SP down the road where he could be a middle to back of the rotation type guy. I'd say it's somewhat unlikely that he would get 50 innings this year, cause that would mean some starters would have to get hurt.
mcqfesijiba wrote:Question. How much of this year's version of Sanchez have you seen versus last year's? I hadn't seen him until this year, but always heard he had great stuff, but was a wreck mechanically and his changeup was useless but still being worked on. I was just curious if you have any firsthand knowledge of how much his mechanics have improved, because they don't seem too bad this year. Since they have helped out Verlander and Zumaya with mechanics with great results, if the same has been done for Sanchez, the Tigers might have something real special going on down there in the minors in regards to developing pitchers.
Also, IMO, his curveball is at least as good as Zumaya's (Zumaya is still almost 2 years younger than Humberto). That curveball is nasty. I hope he can manage to stick as a starter, just as I hope they don't give up on Zumaya down the road, but you never know...
Prospect for greatness
Sanchez pitches his way up the ladder
June 25, 2006
BY JON PAUL MOROSI
FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER
Toledo's Humberto Sanchez had a 0.47 ERA entering Friday's start. (Toledo Mud Hens)
You will likely hear Humberto Sanchez's name mentioned frequently this summer. And the context should tell a lot about the Tigers' current and future fortunes.
If club president and general manager Dave Dombrowski needs a big bat or a veteran arm July 31, potential trading partners are sure to ask about Sanchez, the 6-foot-6, 230-pound right-hander who can be called the team's best remaining minor league pitching prospect.
A continuation of his current performance at Triple-A Toledo -- 3-0 with a 0.47 ERA entering Friday's start -- could bring upon him the same "untouchable" status that might already be attached to rookies Justin Verlander and Joel Zumaya.
Sanchez's performance last season could be described as inconclusive, after pulled lat and groin muscles limited him to 15 appearances at Double-A Erie. He went 3-5 with a 5.57 ERA. He lacked consistency.
"I showed flashes," he said of his 2005 season, "but my body never caught up."
But he regained confidence in the Arizona Fall League and made a renewed commitment to conditioning and nutrition over the off-season. He spent most of the winter in Orlando, where he had access to training facilities in Lakeland. And he monitored his portion sizes.
"I'm a big boy," he said. "I like to eat. My mom cooks great. My fiancee makes good food, but I'm watching what I eat. I dropped some weight, and, more importantly, I toned up. I feel more agile than in the past.
"I'm healthy," he said. "That makes the difference."
He's throwing his fastball between 90 and 94 m.p.h. and can run it up to 97 when needed. He's added a fourth pitch. He's already been named International League pitcher of the week. And, as a native of the Dominican Republic, he will pitch for the World Team in next month's All-Star Futures Game.
Sanchez was born in Santo Domingo and moved to the United States when he was 10. He grew up in New York and attended South Bronx High, located four blocks away from Yankee Stadium. So he was "kind of" a Yankees fan, he said, but attended more Mets games.
He is a very good friend of Zumaya's. The two pitchers are close in age -- Sanchez, 23, is about 18 months older -- and played at the same levels in the organization in each of the previous three seasons. They talk often. Sanchez, then, is keenly aware of how well represented the farm system is on the Tigers' current big-league roster.
"It's been unbelievable, the whole Tiger organization," Sanchez said, "and they don't look like they're slowing down."
He's right. And he's a reason.
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