Despite struggles in AFL, Sanchez expected to start 2011 in Double-A
Despite the struggles during the Arizona Fall League, the Pirates are not concerned with the future of prospect Tony Sanchez.
After 18 games in the AFL, Sanchez batted just .206 with one double and four homers. He also struck out 21 times in 68-at bats.
The Pirates believe the low numbers were a result in a lengthy summer layoff.
Sanchez was batting .314 with 17 doubles, four homers, 35 RBIs in 59 games with High Class A Bradenton before he was hit in the face by a pitch. The result: a fractured jaw in two places and his jaw was wired shut for a month (He also lost 12 pounds). Sanchez was unable to get back behind the plate until the instructional league.
“I think part of it was just going out to the Fall League and trying to impress,” farm director Kyle Stark said. “Tony is a guy that cares a great deal and wants to impress. I think it was more those factors than anything else.”
“I think it was more he was just rusty getting back out there,” Stark said. “Actually, he stung some balls and didn’t have the results and tried to do a little bit more. We were pleased with how he went about things. The results just weren’t there.”
Picked fourth overall in the 2009 draft, Sanchez is expected to start the 2011 season in Double-A Altoona which could mean a major league debut as early as 2012.