Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 11/5/12
Aaron Sanchez is the top pitching prospect in the Toronto Blue Jays system for a reason. That reason is power, as the 20-year-old right-hander features a mid-90s fastball and a sharp-breaking curveball. He also throws an improved changeup, which helped him dominate the Midwest League in his third professional season. The 2010 first-round-supplemental pick logged a 2.49 ERA while striking out 97, and allowing 64 hits, in 90 innings. Sanchez discussed his game late in the 2012 season. —— Sanchez, on how he’d define his game: “I’d describe myself as a power pitcher. I have a pretty firm fastball with a lot of late life, [including] running-and-sinking action. I have a pretty power curveball, which is kind of a big strikeout pitch for me. When I get ahead, I tend to break that out and I get a lot of Ks with it. Based on those things, I think you’d call me a power pitcher. “I’m not afraid of contact. I’m not afraid of early contact or one-pitch outs, because that’s key for guys on pitch counts. The quicker you get outs, the longer you get to stay in the game. But when I’m ahead in the count and have the opportunity to strike someone out, that’s my mindset. “I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I’m pushing toward more contact. It’s more that I’m not afraid of it. I also wouldn’t say that I’m getting pushed into pitching to contact. There are times I rack up quite a few Ks.” On maturing as a pitcher: “My fastball, in terms of late life and velocity, has become better since I signed. With my curveball, I think it’s gotten a little bit better in terms of velocity and sharpness. I could be a little more consistent with that pitch, but I think it has definitely gotten better from the time I signed until now. “I think [the development] is part physical maturity and part learning. It’s knowing what you’re trying to do with your delivery and it’s growing up and getting your man strength. Developing and filling out go hand-in-hand with what you’re trying to do on the field.” On his fastball: “My four-seam rises and my two-seam dives. I get a lot of movement on all of my pitches. This year I’m throwing my two-seam a little more on the inner part of the plate to right-handed hitters. I’m not being afraid to go after weak contact. It’s been a big thing for me, but not something where they’ve said, ‘Hey, throw a two-seam.’ I’ve always had that in my repertoire. “There’s a little bit of velocity difference, but nothing drastic. It’s not a four- or five-mph difference, or anything like that. It’s more one or two. Most of the time this year, my fastball has been in the mid- to upper-90s, anywhere from 94-97.” On his changeup: “I throw a standard four-seam circle changeup. I think it’s been the best pitch for me this year. Going into last off-season, I knew that I needed to develop that third pitch. I threw it and threw it and threw it, and I got confidence in throwing it. When I got to spring training, it was a matter of throwing it in games and not being afraid to give up hits with it. Or swings and misses. I got a lot of those. “When I came into the season, instead of just sitting on 94-95, I was able to work front to back and keep hitters off balance by throwing my changeup. It’s a little firm, but there is six-, seven-, eight-mph difference in terms of fastball-to-changeup velocity. It’s been around 86-88. That change in velocity definitely messes up the hitter. “The biggest thing with a changeup is confidence. You have to be confident to throw it when you want to throw it, and not be afraid to give up hits with it. That’s the biggest thing from my standpoint. You obviously need the right things to go with that, like the arm speed and stuff like that, but it’s the confidence in your ability to get swings and misses, and weak contact, when you throw the pitch.” On becoming more consistent: “It’s nice to have a good arm, but when you get to this level, it’s about executing pitches every time out. The more you do that, the more successful you’re going to be. You’re going to go deeper into ballgames and the chances improve that you’re going to get a win. That’s what we’re trying to do here. We’re trying to win, but we’re also trying to get developed. “The name of the game — this is for everybody, not just me — is becoming more consistent. You’re not so far off from the big leagues once to get to full-season. Anything can happen, so it’s a matter of being able to go out there every night and execute pitches. That’s the biggest thing I want to go forward with, from this year and throughout my entire career.”
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Brewers interested in 2B Ian Kinsler

Ten college football stars most likely to unseat Lamar Jackson for the Heisman

Report: Kyrie Irving asked Cavs to trade him

Report: Knicks open to trading Carmelo, picks for Kyrie

Landon Collins: Giants will ‘definitely’ topple Cowboys atop NFC East

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Are the Cowboys bracing for possible Elliott suspension?

Simpson parole board member opens up about Chiefs tie

Draymond Green calls out Damian Lillard

Pacman Jones suspended for Week 1 of upcoming season

Stenson had rental home robbed at Open Championship

Report: Carmelo would waive $8M trade kicker for Rockets

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

Best of Yardbarker: General managers take the spotlight

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

The unexpected rise of the Connecticut Sun

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

Kicking It: USMNT struggles to find consistency in Gold Cup as World Cup qualifying nears

Three Up, Three Down: The Dodgers are a complete juggernaut right now

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

Who won the Open Championship in the year you were born?

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

Box Score 7/21: Stay cool this weekend sports fans

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

MLB 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 Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. 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

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

The 'Yoan Moncada era starts now' quiz

The Orioles need to unwind past deals if they are going to rebuild

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Sam Hinkie is calling the shots

The 'No one is betterer than Roger Federer' quiz

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