Originally posted on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 7/31/12
GABY SANCHEZ
FIRST BASEMAN
Born: September 2, 1983
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 230
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Drafted: 4th Round, 126th Overall, 2005 (Marlins)
How Acquired: Traded from Marlins
College: University of Miami (FL)
Agent: Beverly Hills Sports Council WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES Sanchez missed his junior year at Miami due to a suspension, but the Marlins drafted him based on the familiarity one of their scouts had with him.  He put up some gaudy numbers at times in the minors, but not always, and he generally was a little old for his level.  He showed mostly doubles power, but also showed exceptional strike zone judgment.  He had two solid seasons in the majors for the Marlins, but collapsed in 2012.  He’s had strong platoon splits in the majors, with an OPS of .878 against LHPs and .715 against RHPs.  He’s shown the ability to steal a base occasionally.  In the minors, he played first most of the time, but got considerable time at third in the upper minors and also caught a little in the low minors.  UZR and +/- both show him to be above average defensively at first.  The Pirates acquired Sanchez and a marginal minor league pitcher for Gorkys Hernandez and the team’s competitive balance lottery pick.
2005
A-:  355/401/487, 234 AB, 16 2B, 5 HR, 16 BB, 24 K, 11-16 SB

Sanchez had a strong debut in the New York-Penn League, winning the batting title.  He played 30 games at third, 12 at first and 11 behind the plate.

2006
R:  333/636/500, 6 AB, 1 2B, 5 BB
A:  317/447/603, 189 AB, 12 2B, 14 HR, 39 BB, 20 K, 6-8 SB
A+:  182/324/327, 55 AB, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 12 BB, 12 K, 1-1 SB

Sanchez tore up the South Atlantic League for a while, but had his season derailed by nagging finger and foot injuries.  He caught a little but mostly played first.

2007
A+:  279/369/433, 547 AB, 40 2B, 3 3B, 9 HR, 64 BB, 74 K, 6-12 SB

Spending a full season in the Florida State League, Sanchez hit respectably but didn’t dominate, although at 23 he wasn’t young for the level.  He played almost entirely at first, but got into a few games at third and catcher.

2008
AA:  314/404/513, 557 AB, 42 2B, 1 3B, 17 HR, 69 BB, 70 K, 17-25 SB
MLB:  375/375/625, 8 AB, 2 2B, 2 K

In AA, Sanchez had a much better season, with outstanding plate discipline.  He split his time evenly between the infield corners.  Florida called him up in mid-September, but he saw little action.

2009
AAA:  289/374/475, 318 AB, 11 2B, 16 HR, 41 BB, 44 K, 5-5 SB
MLB:  238/304/524, 21 AB, 2 HR, 2 BB, 3 K

Playing in the pitcher’s park in New Orleans, but in the high-offense Pacific Coast League, Sanchez had a good season at the plate.  He got brief callups in July and August, then spent September in the majors.  He again split his time between first and third.

2010
MLB:  273/341/448, 572 AB, 37 2B, 3 3B, 19 HR, 57 BB, 101 K, 5-5 SB

Sanchez had a solid season as a 26-year-old rookie in the majors.  Although the numbers looked superficially good, his OPS+ was 108, which is nothing special for a firstbaseman.

2011
MLB:  266/352/427, 572 AB, 35 2B, 19 HR, 74 BB, 97 K, 3-4 SB

Sanchez’ 2011 season was very similar to his 2010 one.  His hitting tailed off just a little, but he had outstanding BB and K numbers.

2012
AAA (Mia):  302/431/491, 116 AB, 7 2B, 5 HR, 22 BB, 23 K, 2-4 SB
MLB (Mia):  202/250/306, 183 AB, 10 2B, 3 HR, 12 BB, 36 K, 1-1 SB

Sanchez got off to a miserable start with the Marlins.  They sent him to the minors in mid-May with his OPS at just .539.  He came back up three weeks later and hit about the same.  Miami sent him back to AAA again after acquiring Carlos Lee.  The most obvious difference with Sanchez from prior years is the sudden drop in his walk rate.  He began swinging at a higher percentage of pitches out of the strike zone than the previous year.  His line drive rate dropped substantially, with most of the lost line drives becoming popups.  That suggests pitchers might have found a weakness, possibly pounding him inside, and he hasn’t adjusted yet.

Sanchez will probably replace Casey McGehee–whom the Pirates traded immediately after acquiring Sanchez, on the short end of the first base platoon with Garrett Jones.  He has more of a history of mashing lefties than McGehee, but of course that means that he’s at more of a disadvantage against righties.  Whether he’s enough of an upgrade from McGehee to be worth the loss of an supplemental first round draft pick is debatable.  The Pirates undoubtedly are hoping he’ll turn things around, but that’s what they were hoping for with McGehee.

STATS Baseball Reference–Majors
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MLB.com
MiLB.com CONTRACT INFORMATION 2010: $401,000
2011: $431,000
2012: $483,000 PLAYER INFORMATION Signing Bonus: $250,000
MiLB Debut: 2005
MLB Debut: 9/17/2008
MiLB FA Eligible: 2013
MLB FA Eligible: 2016
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: September 14, 2008
Options Remaining: 1 (USED: 2009, 2012)
MLB Service Time: 2.062 TRANSACTIONS June 4, 2002: Drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 15th round, 460th overall pick.
June 7, 2005: Drafted by the Miami Marlins in the 4th round, 126th overall pick; signed on June 8.
September 17, 2008: Contract purchased by the Miami Marlins.
July 30, 2012: Traded by the Miami Marlins to the Pittsburgh Pirates with Kyle Kaminska for Gorkys Hernandez and a competitive balance draft pick.


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