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Friday, June 4, 2010

Scouting Report, RHP Anibal Sanchez

The 26-year old Sanchez is in his 5th major league season with the Marlins. He was signed by the Red Sox in 2001 as an amateur free agent in Venezuela, and was traded in 2005 in the Hanley Rameriz and Josh Beckett deal. In 2006 he took the league by storm, going 10-3, with a 2.83 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 114 innings, including a no-hitter. Since that year, he has totaled 203 innings in the last 3+ years. He has a checkered medical history, as he had Tommy John Surgery in 2003, and two shoulder surgeries, along with two DL stints last year for a shoulder sprain. He proclaims this year that he is completely healthy. After returning from the DL last year in August, he was very good, holding batters to a .212 batting average against, and a 2.68 ERA in 50 innings. For his career, he has a 3.89 ERA and 1.46 WHIP, with average strikeout rates, but high walk rates (4.25 W/9).  Against the Mets, he is 3-3, with a 3.92 ERA and 1.487 WHIP in seven starts (one this year).

Sanchez has a fluid delivery and throws from a 3/4 arm slot. He is a four-pitch pitcher, featuring a low 90s fastball (he will add and subtract on his fastball, and throw it up and down in the zone), a plus slider (83 mph), as well as a curve-ball and an excellent change-up. He throws his fastball 52% of the time, slider 25%, while mixing in his curve and change equally (11-12%). His two best pitches are his slider and change-up.

When he faced the Mets on May 14th, he was 1-2, with a 4.08 ERA and 1.53 WHIP. He wasn't striking many hitters out (5.3 K/9), but had suffered some bad luck (.343 BAPIP). He had gone 6+ innings in five of his six starts and allowed only one home run up to that point.

Now he has 10 starts and is 5-2, with a 2.89 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. He has raised his strike out per 9 to > 7, and his BAPIP has started to regress to .310 (norm is .300).  He has had a lot of success with getting hitters to swing at pitches out of the strike zone. He's won four consecutive starts, including his last outing versus the Mets when he went seven innings and allowed only six base-runners and two earned runs, while striking out seven. He hasn't let up more than two earned runs in his last eight starts. He still has only allowed one home run this year. He's gone 6+ innings in nine of his ten starts.

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