Rays Top 50 Prospects: Number 37, Jesus Sanchez
By Mat Germain
Rays Top 50 Prospects includes a tremendous number of high-quality prospects. We at RCG are bringing you an in-depth look at those we consider to be the Top 50.
While gathering as much information as possible from various sources, we’re going to put it all together for your enjoyment and raise the bar on what you expect from a prospect knowledgable site. Stay tuned, check-in often, and please let us know how we’re doing.
Being such a lengthy process, some encouragement will go a very long way. We hope you’ll enjoy reading this series as much as we enjoy putting it together. If anything, all of us will know that much more about the quality of the Rays system.
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We’ll go through this exercise in an odd way, to make things more interesting. The first one to be looked at will be #40, then #30, then #20, and #10. Then we’ll go through 41, 31, 21, and 11. We’ll go through each ranking until we are all done 11-50, all aside from the Top 10. Then we’ll have a regular countdown for the top 10.
The rankings will be based on all aspects of each prospect, but will focus first on how likely the player is to make an impact in MLB, and ceiling next. Mikie Mahtook and Enny Romero have been graduated to the majors and will not be included in these rankings.
Once completed, the Top 50 will be updated mid-season with an explanation to why they’re moving up or down, and the entire process will be repeated each season.
The next player to be examined in detail is …
#37: Jesus Sanchez, OF, 18 years old
- Bats: Left Ht/Wt: 6’2″ 185 lbs
- Drafted: in the 1st round of the 2013 MLB draft, 21st overall
- Signed: for $1,972,200
- 2015 Affiliate: Hudson Valley, LoA
- Anticipated MLB Arrival: 2018+
Sanchez’ Fielding Stats
Sanchez’ 2015 Splits
- Only struck out 11.9% of the time, including only 6 times in his last 71 AB
- Managed an impressive .163 ISO, 7.0 Spd, wOBA .412, good for a wRC+ of 143
- Hit safely in 21 of his last 25 games
- Crushed LHP to the tune of .346/.377/.534
- Most outstanding of all, hit .370/.420/.652 with 2 outs and RISP
- Trains with Tony Mota and Rudy Santin
- Despite being one of the youngest hitters on the team, hit 3rd all season long
Best Tools & Abilities
- Patience and Above-Average approach at the plate for his age
- Hitting ability
- Speed and Power combination
If you asked me to name one international prospect not named German Marquez that Rays fans should get excited about, Jesus Sanchez would be that name. Already known to be able to lay off pitches before he signed with the Rays, Sanchez proved that scouting report to be accurate with a well above-average season in the DSL.
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Playing the entire season at 17 years old, Sanchez was able to get on base vs both RHP and LHP and finished 4th in the DSL in Total Bases with 119. There are reports that he won’t be an above-average power-hitter, but if he can hit for average power and produce as he has vs both RHP and LHP, it’s not going to matter if he hits 30+ HRs.
While he isn’t expected to have a rocket of an arm, it is strong enough, rated at 45, to do well in LF. The Rays had him play both CF and RF in the DSL, so if he maintains his speed there’s a chance he could handle either. He’s a smart base-runner who can be projected to steal a good amount of bases going forward.
There’s a better than average chance that the Rays will have Sanchez start the season in the GCL, but it’s also possible that he skip north to the Appy league just as they did with Angel Moreno after a lesser season than Sanchez managed in 2015.
We’re not going to get out of hand and predict Sanchez will become one of the greatest Rays hitters ever. However, there are few prospects that have enjoyed such overwhelming success in a short period of time, albeit in the DSL which can sometimes be deceiving when it comes to identifying top prospects.
The tale of how high Sanchez’ ceiling could actually be will really take off when he reaches U.S. soil. It’s our expectation that he’ll be in the top 10-15 Rays prospects by season’s end, and that he could one day rival the expectations of some of the best Rays prospects when it comes to an impactful bat.
Next: Tampa Bay Rays Top 50 Prospects: Number 14, Daniel Robertson
Watch for Sanchez in the boxscores and in the rankings as the 2016 moves along. The Rays must be happy with the season he provided them in 2015. If he can build on that and make the tough transition in 2016, he’s going to be a truly exciting player to follow. We wish him all of the best and look forward to his progress!