Originally written on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 1/22/13
In his three full seasons as a Major League starter, Anibal Sanchez has slowly taken strides toward being a top-of-the-rotation pitcher. Last year he increased his K:BB ratio for the second straight season while increasing the amount of ground balls he induced. His pitch selection shows his evolution away from being a power pitcher as last year he decreased his four-seamer usage in favor of his change-up and curveball. That coincides with what we saw on the field with his rise in ground ball rate, but Sanchez also posted a career-worst 21.5% line drive rate. That’s going to have to be better. But while Sanchez is improving with all his peripherals, he still needs to put up that break out season that propels him toward fantasy anchorhood (yes, I made that word up). Unfortunately for Sanchez, he still hasn’t proven that he can win games as last year’s 9-13 record for an 88-win Tigers team reminded us yet again. Fresh off a big contract, all Sanchez has left to do now is deliver. At a Glance Strengths: W, K, QS Neutral: L, ERA, WHIP, K/9, BB Weaknesses: none Player Comparisons Best-case scenario: Mat Latos (CIN) Likely scenario: Josh Johnson (MIA), Ryan Dempster (BOS), Jonathon Niese (NYM) Worst-case scenario: Tommy Hanson (OAK) Anibal Sanchez 2013 Fantasy Projection Sanchez’s strengths are only borderline. I honestly considered listing everything as “neutral,” but if he takes the next step and turns those above average overall stats into some more wins for a good Detroit team, then he’ll become regarded as a durable, 200-inning starter who can pick up a win in any given outing. As for the Ks, I dont’t think we’ll be seeing a return of Sanchez’s 200-K days. He’s going away from the fastball and looking to induce more grounders, and that tends to signal the end of the high-strikeout days. I do think he’ll improve with the strikeout total overall due  to an increased workload and a slightly better strikeout rate, but he’s probably a 180-strikeout pitcher these days. If you’re an aggressive drafter and enjoy taking risks in your draft — shallow leaguers, take notice —  then Sanchez is a good player to go after. The publicity his contract drew might inflate his value slightly, but probably not much. He’s a reliable innings eater at worst, and at best he could be a 15-game winner who you can count on almost every time he takes the mound. Tweet
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Adam Eaton gets 4th of July surprise from brother

Clippers in talks with JaVale McGee, Amar’e Stoudemire

Report: LeBron won't negotiate with Cavs until Thompson is signed

Andrei Kostitsyn interested in return to NHL

Blazers fire assistant who said Aldridge was leaving team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Miguel Cabrera lands on DL for first time in his career

LaMarcus Aldridge chooses to sign with Spurs

WATCH: Serena Williams wags finger at Wimbledon crowd, says, 'Don’t try me'

Report: Rajon Rondo headed to Sacramento Kings

Dez Bryant deal with Cowboys could be announced Monday

Brandon Saad, Ryan O’Reilly sign long-term contracts with Columbus, Buffalo

Kosta Koufos agrees to deal with Kings

Report: Blues in trade talks about Kevin Shattenirk

Report: Gregg Popovich plans to fulfill five-year contract

4-Star LB commits to Kentucky, zings Louisville

Clay Buchholz not worried about trade rumors

All hope isn't completely lost for this year's Milwaukee Brewers

Roy Hibbert likely being traded to Lakers

WATCH: Pablo Sandoval falls over railing during catch

Report: Packers TE charged with firing a gun in Miami

Kawhi, LaMarcus, the mid-range and the Spurs' next epoch

How can Rafael Nadal regain his dominance?

NBA Rumors: Cavs and Spurs vying for David West

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Russell Wilson 'would definitely consider' playing for Mariners

Solo, Rapinoe among USWNT stars up for World Cup awards

LBS on Sports Jeopardy! Here's how how it went

College football's 35 most patriotic helmets

A brief history of non-star All-Stars

With Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans

Obama Administration: Change name if Redskins move to D.C.

Deciding what the All-Star Game means

Odell Beckham Jr. offered professional baseball contract

Orioles keep finding a way to win

Lloyd sends USWNT to World Cup final

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.