Originally written on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 11/17/14
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

DeMarco Murray: 'I'm not worried about the Cowboys'

Turner has great quote in defense of Bridgewater

Gary Bettman's quote about expansion makes no sense

Beltre sends Richards invoice for three broken bats

Herschel Walker: Vikings should trade Adrian Peterson

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Raiders fielding calls about fourth overall pick

WATCH: UAB football player brings helmet to graduation

Andrew Luck to students: 'I'm only 25, I don't have advice'

Mark Sanchez: Tebow is another arm while Bradford recovers

Report: Former LSU CB Jalen Collins failed multiple drug tests

Six players suspended for White Sox-Royals brawl

WATCH: Demetrious Johnson wins with last-second submission

WATCH: Jerryd Bayless beats Bulls with buzzer-beater

John Legend catches Belichick checking out Chrissy Teigen

Jim Rice to Jim Palmer: 'Quit complaining'

Time Warner-Comcast failed merger hurts Dodgers fans

WATCH: Bucks mascot devours fan

Protestors tried to have Orioles-Red Sox game called off

Greg Hardy abandons his Bentley during flash flood

WATCH: LeBron James hits full-court shot after practice

Peyton Manning announces $3 million gift to Tennessee

WATCH: Leah Still scores TD in Temple spring game

WATCH: Todd Gurley shares video of himself sprinting

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

UAB player brings helmet to graduation

Leah Still scores in Temple spring game

Sanchez shares thoughts on Tebow

Stephen A. Smith blasts Tom Brady

Kris Humphries apologizes for Jenner tweet

Five most boring NFL prime time matchups for 2015

Bruce Jenner: "For all intents and purposes, I am a woman"

Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota: Perception vs. reality

Report: Gronk dating former Patriots cheerleader

NFL exec compares Jameis Winson to JaMarcus Russell

NFL does not care about Rams' future in St. Louis

Nothing gleams like late-round draft gold

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.