Mets Minors: Ali Sanchez hits better as he climbs the ladder

The Mets signed Ali Sanchez almost exactly six years ago. The, then, 16 year old was signed alongside Luis Silva and Yeffry De Aza. Baseball America’s Ben Badler wrote in 2013:

Sanchez, 16, is 6 feet, 180 pounds with good catch-and-throw skills, quick feet and good hands. Scouts highest on him have been impressed with his ability to hit in games by staying inside the ball with a contact-oriented swing from the right side of the plate.

The Mets sent Sanchez to the DSL in 2014 where the youngster had good solid numbers and continued to impress scouts defensively. His .800 OPS in 2014 is more thanks to his advanced eye at the plate but his .303 batting average gave people hope of more. The fielding stats, with 37 caught stealing successes in 39 games and a .984 fielding percentage, really are what made him stand out.

He came stateside in 2015 but from his debut with the GCL through his first taste of full season ball (in 2017) the bat of Sanchez seemed to be too far gone to ever allow a team to promote him for his defense. Then, last year, something changed.

Sanchez broke out in 2018 with a .681 OPS in both Columbia and Port St. Lucie. While these numbers don’t explode off the page, they certainly made scouts check back in on a player whose defensive chops have been exemplary for his whole minor league career.

The Mets aggressively assigned him to start the 2019 season in Binghamton and the early returns, splitting time with Patrick Mazeika weren’t great. He was still hitting but he didn’t seem to be hitting for power or showing the advanced eye to raise his on base percentage. Through April and May it seemed he was destined for a ho-hum .650 OPS in his first AA showing.

Then… June came along. In June, Sanchez sports a .910 OPS with a considerable showing of doubles power (7 doubles in the month of June). Add to that a .382 June batting average and you see how he managed to get his OPS above .700 for the first time since the DSL.

If he can keep his OPS above .700 through the end of the year he will be deserving of Top 10 prospect consideration and perhaps even a showing on Baseball America’s Top 100 (though I’d wager that as a long shot). Either way I could see Sanchez to be ready to swap in with Wilson Ramos or Tomas Nido by the end of 2020.

AAA:
Syracuse Mets

Anthony Kay looks overmatched – Since his promotion things have not looked good for the Met’s lefty. The 9.64 ERA and WHIP of 2.00 speak for themselves.

AA:
Binghamton Rumble Ponies

Andres Gimenez may not turn this season around – It already seems that the season is lost for the Mets Top Prospect. Over his past 10 games he’s hitting under .200 and struck out 11 times.

David Peterson seems to be on track – Not perfect, but plenty good. He still gives up some hits but he’s keeping the walks down and the strikeouts up. Over his past three starts: 18.0 IP, 3 walks and 21 strikeouts.

Luis Carpio found his AA footing – He stumbled out of the gate, after his promotion, but it seems he’s got things going now. He’s only hitting for a .236 batting average in AA but his June numbers are significantly better.

A+:
St. Lucie Mets

Nobody cares how much I like Jeremy Vasquez – The Mets seem determined to keep Vasquez in St. Lucie, perhaps so someone on the team can have stats that aren’t glaringly bad.

A:
Columbia Fireflies

Mark Vientos looks like he might surge again – He’s a streaky player, so whenever you see an uptick in his batting numbers you cross your fingers for a surge. He’s hitting over .300 for his last 10 games.

Is Wagner Lagrange a legitimate prospect? – He’s been one of the most consistent hitters for the Fireflies all year but doesn’t get mentioned in the same breath as Mauricio, Vientos or Newton. Since he’s 23 it seems that a mid-season promotion is in order.

Pencil in the name Hayden Senger – The catching prospect has shown glimpses of greatness from time to time. Mostly with his bat.

SS:
Brooklyn Cyclones

Joe Genord is the star of the Brooklyn lineup – The first baseman has shown great power in the early going and has been vital to the strong Cyclone start. His .302/.373/.581 batting line speaks for itself.

R+:
Kingsport Mets

Gregory Guerrero is making up for lost time – He’s hitting with power and patience in the early goings of 2019. After getting penty of hits in his first few games he’s cooled off but is still walking a ton. 12 walks in his 10 games.

Andres Regnault could be worth keeping tabs on – His 2018 numbers in the DSL were great and he started the year with two 4 RBI (with a home run each) games.

R:
Gulf Coast Mets

Jordan Humphreys, who burst onto the scene with a 10-1 record and a 1.79 ERA season back in 2017, returns from missing nearly two years due to TJ surgery. He faced five batters and gave up a run in his debut Sunday.

Brett Baty is hitting in his debut – He’s got his batting average off to a strong start but he’s also struck out 5 times in only 3 games.

Josh Wolf and Matthew Allan have yet to make their debuts – Keep your eyes peeled. While Brodie Van Wagenen deserves lots of heat for the awful Jarred Kelenic trade and the useless Jed Lowrie signing, he did get three first round talents in his first draft.

Francisco Alvarez looks as good as advertised – He’s started the year with three multi-hit games, and has 2 walks and 4 extra base hits. He keeps this up and he’s a candidate for Top Met Prospect.

Adrian Hernandez showing 5-tool potential – He’s got 3 extra base hits, 2 stolen bases and an OPS over 1.000 which nobody could think to complain about.

DSL:
Mets 1 & 2

Federico Polanco defying type – You wouldn’t think of a 5’10” shortstop as an offensive force but Polanco has 20 RBI and a .506 SLG to start the year.

Freddy Valdez is doing more than enough – Sure his batting average is in the .260s but he’s hitting extra base knocks, walking and even stealing a few bases.

Carlos Dominguez emerges from obscurity – The 19 year old outfielder is doing a lot to impress with his bat. He has hit 3 home runs in the last 5 games.

Alan Ramirez is a powerful little lefty – The pitcher is undersized (which means the bullpen is in his future) but he’s striking out well over 16 per 9 innings.

*****

Brian Joura contributed to this report.

7 comments for “Mets Minors: Ali Sanchez hits better as he climbs the ladder

  1. July 1, 2019 at 10:22 am

    Met’s Top 10 Picks:

    Brett Baty – $3.9 M
    Josh Wolf – $2.15 M
    Matthew Allan – $2.5 M
    Jake Magnum – $20 K
    Nathan Jones – $10 K
    Zach Ashford – $10 K
    Luke Ritter – $10 K
    Conner Wollersheim – $1 K
    Joe Genord – $10 K
    Scott Ota – $1 K

    FWIW: My stats were compiled Sunday morning.

    • July 1, 2019 at 1:17 pm

      Wow – did the 8th and 10th round picks really sign for $1K? Well, the FO got it done somehow. I bash them for things but they really deserve credit for getting Allan signed. It would make a good story telling how this draft came about.

      Edit: I never weighed in elsewhere but I like the Baty pick and am neutral on the Wolf selection. And very happy with Allan. So, watch Wolf be the star of this draft.

      • July 1, 2019 at 1:40 pm

        These are the numbers from Sportrac… I tend to believe them.

        Wolf is like Allan-lite. He has one fewer pitch that rates plus but his control is top notch.

  2. TexasGusCC
    July 2, 2019 at 11:19 am

    Baty was just promoted to Kingsport after just five games! That makes a stacked Kingsport team more stacked. I just hope they have the arms. Baty’s slash line after five games was .350/.480/.650. Last year, Kelenic lasted 12 games at GCL. Good for Kingsport and Baty.

    • July 2, 2019 at 11:22 am

      Kingsport offense has looked a little flat the last few games. That move should help them.

      Jake Magnum sighted in Brooklyn as leadoff hitter.

      • TexasGusCC
        July 2, 2019 at 2:02 pm

        Yes, Mangum is a natural leadoff type with great speed and not much power.

        Too, the International Signing period starts today and the Mets paid over $2MM for a natural center field type player that was the 26th ranked player available. If 26 gets you $2MM, what does #1 get you? Wow. I should have practiced harder when I was a kid.

    • Chris F
      July 2, 2019 at 2:39 pm

      I may have to find time to go up to Kport.

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