Signed back in July 2013 by the Rays for $65,000, Sanchez made little headway in Tampa Bay’s system for a long time, not making it to full-season ball until his sixth summer of pro ball. He had barely gotten out of rookie ball in 2018 when he was Rule 5 Draft eligible, left unprotected and wasn’t taken. Things finally started happening for the tall lefty in 2019 as he pitched extremely well across two levels of A ball. The Rays didn’t have room on their 40-man roster to protect him, so they dealt him to the Phillies last November, who quickly added him to their roster.
Sanchez’s stuff ticked upwards during his breakout 2019 campaign. He’s now coming at hitters with a fastball up to 97-98 mph consistently and he backs that up with a sweeping slider and an improved changeup. All of it comes from his tall, gangly, 6-foot-5 frame and it’s hard for hitters to pick the ball up coming out of Sanchez’s hand.
The southpaw was able to repeat his delivery more consistently in 2019, which led to him finding the strike zone more consistently and lowering his walk rate. His command within the zone also improved and he missed more bats and continued to get a lot of weak contact on the ground. It remains to be seen what Sanchez’s long-term role is -- he both started and relieved last year -- but his acquisition made him one of the more intriguing lefties in the Phillies' system.