Facing a pivotal season, Sixto Sanchez received some hype Wednesday, when the pitcher was one of three Phillies prospects listed on Baseball America’s annual Top 100 list.
Sanchez was ranked the No. 13 prospect overall; third baseman Alec Bohm, the team’s first-round pick in June, was ranked 65th; and shortstop Luis Garcia, the team’s big prize on the international market two years ago, was ranked 88th.
Sanchez, 20, made just eight starts last year, as his season was delayed by an illness during spring training and shortened by an elbow injury that cost him an appearance in the Arizona Fall League. The right-hander posted a 2.51 ERA with 45 strikeouts and 11 walks in 46⅔ innings at high-A Clearwater.
It is uncertain where Sanchez will start this season, but he is sure to reach at least double A. Sanchez has thrown fewer than 75 innings over two seasons at high-A, so he might return to Clearwater for more experience and the chance to begin the season in warm weather. Phillies officials have hinted about a willingness to fast-track Sanchez to the majors if the situation were right. Sanchez’ performance — and ability to stay healthy — could create that.
Bohm hit .224 last season, with a .604 OPS in 107 at-bats at short-season Class A Williamsport. Bohm, 22, missed more than a month because of a knee injury after being hit by a pitch. He will likely begin the season at Class A Lakewood.
Garcia turned 18 in October and could become a popular prospect this summer, if the Phillies move him out of the Gulf Coast League. He batted .369 last summer in the GCL, with a .921 OPS in 168 at-bats. The Phillies signed him out of the Dominican Republic in July 2017 for $2.5 million. He is a great defensive shortstop and won the GCL batting title. He might join Bohm at Lakewood this season to form an attention-getting infield.