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

Rob Gronkowski’s younger brother, Glenn, trying to make NFL as fullback

Michael Bennett fined over $17K for nasty hit on Alex Smith

Cam Cameron battling prostate cancer

RG3 to be held out 1-2 weeks after doctor changes mind

LA Kings offer Peter Budaj a professional tryout

Carlos Boozer hoping roster spot opens on playoff team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Starting EJ Manuel not a bad idea for Bills’ third preseason game

Tim Beckman fired by Illinois amid mistreatment allegations

Chip Kelly reveals thought process behind Bradford trade

Charles Barkley on ex-agent: ‘I’d blow his damn brains out’

Bryce Harper doesn’t seem to care if Nationals make playoffs

Could the Spurs backups make playoffs in the east?

The WWE Divas Revolution is getting ugly

The NFL’s season kickoff isn’t going as planned, but plans don’t matter in the NFL

Jonathan Kraft: Patriots haven’t apologized to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen

Ballmer declines $60M/yr TV deal, could start streaming

Nationals forced to re-issue massive bobblehead order

Jay Gruden would like the media to stop calling him fat

Spieth: Could new irons be reason for missed cut at Barclays?

The Opening Drive: Where have all the great UM tailbacks gone?

The 1980s Lakers represent the NBA’s ultimate creation story

The Orioles’ frustrating season

Andy Reid perfect play: 'That’s like a good cheeseburger'

Five greatest NBA players of all-time

Finding signs of life for the Boston Red Sox

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

The WWE Divas Revolution is getting ugly

The NFL’s season kickoff isn’t going as planned, but plans don’t matter in the NFL

The Opening Drive: What happened to all the great Michigan tailbacks?

The 1980s Lakers represent the NBA’s ultimate creation story

The Orioles’ frustrating season

Five greatest NBA players of all-time

Finding signs of life for the Red Sox

10 NFL players set for down seasons in 2015

Why NFL preseason games matter

August's winners and losers in sports

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker