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11/19/1982 (34 y, 4 m, 9 d)
2004 June Amateur Draft - Round: 27, Pick: 29, Overall: 820, Team: San Francisco Giants
$0.2M / 1 Years (2014)
Sanchez was released by the Royals on Monday, Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star reports. (3/20/2017)
Reviewing J.P. Breen's 10 Bold Predictions For 201»
J.P. Breen (RotoGraphs)
J.P. Breen's 10 Bold Predictions For 2013
J.P. Breen (RotoGraphs)
Rockies, Royals Swap Guthrie, Sanchez
Paul Swydan (FanGraphs)
What Went Wrong With Jonathan Sanchez
Wendy Thurm (FanGraphs)
Roto Riteup: April 19th, 2012
David Wiers (RotoGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
First, the good news. Sanchez put up the best numbers of his career in 2009, with career marks in innings, ERA, WHIP, strikeouts, and K/9. Luck also didn't seem to factor, as his FIP was 4.17 and his BABIP (.290) and strand rate (72.6%) were reasonable. Certainly, if you want strikeouts, Sanchez is your man. His 9.72 strikeouts per nine would have ranked sixth in the Major Leagues had he thrown enough innings to qualify. He gets people to reach (24.6% career) and they don't make contact (75.5%) – especially with his slider, which was a plus pitch for him last year (+11.4 runs). Not surprisingly, he started using the slider more (21.3% 2009, 15.6% career), which is good news because his change-up is not very good (-18.9 runs career). The bad news is glaringly obvious: He needs to cut down on the walks (4.85 BB/9 2009, 4.60 career).
The Year Ahead:
The best takeaway from Sanchez' season in 2009 was that it was not luck-fueled. By most indicators, it seems probably that Sanchez can repeat a year in which he had 177 strikeouts and passable ratios. The problem is that he has a fatal flaw in his high walk totals and it's hard to see hope in the numbers. He hasn't really made any progress with his control so far, and without work in that department, the best he can be in mixed leagues is a spot starter or a pitcher you own during a good streak. Deep-league owners may consider him a value because of the strikeouts, and because of the depth of the player pool in those types of leagues, his WHIP won't hurt as much. But mixed leaguers shouldn't spend more than a final round pick on the wild Puerto Rican lefty. (Eno Sarris)
Jonathan Sanchez finally blossomed into the pitcher that Giants’ fans and fantasy owners everywhere have been hoping him to be, striking out 205 in 193.1 innings while posting a 3.07 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. Actually, keen fantasy players will note that Sanchez has been pretty much the same pitcher since his 2006 debut, maintaining very close to his career strikeout rate of 9.41 K/9 and walk rate of 4.60 BB/9 every season. His expected FIP has been nearly identical since 2007. The main culprit in his ERA fluctuation has been his BABIP. With every decrease in ERA since 2007, Sanchez’s BABIP has also decreased, from .327 in 2008 to .262 in 2010. Remember, just as Sanchez’s high-BABIP years followed with optimistic projections the next season, so we should expect his low BABIP in 2010 to regress up toward the mean. However, his consistent strikeout and home runs-allowed rates are to be properly noted. Assuming a league-average BABIP of .300, look for Sanchez to strike out 200 batters again with a 3.40 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. (Albert Lyu)
The Quick Opinion:
Sanchez blossomed into a great pitcher in 2010, striking out 205 with a 3.07 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. His strikeout, walk, and HR-allowed rates have been very consistent since his 2006 debut, so a league-average BABIP should get Sanchez similar numbers in 2011.
2011 was not a good year for Sanchez. He struggled with his command in virtually every start (he posted a 5.86 walk rate for the year), saw his strikeout-to-walk ratio drop to 1.55, and watched his ERA climb to 4.26. To make matters worse, he only made three starts after the All Star break due to an ankle injury. His emotions on the mound tended to get the better of him and it was no wonder the Giants jumped at the opportunity to trade him to Kansas City during the offseason. How Sanchez will fare in the American League as the Royals number two starter is yet to be seen. His interleague numbers aren’t too bad (career 3.73 ERA in 89.1 innings) and he’s had some success in the limited matchups with AL Central opponents, but the expectancy for a rise in ERA and decrease in strikeouts is certainly there. Kauffman Stadium plays better to hitters than AT&T does, so you might want to steer clear until he can prove himself. (Howard Bender)
The Quick Opinion:
Sanchez heads to the American League as the number two starter in the Royals rotation. No longer benefiting from things like AT&T Park’s dimensions or facing a pitcher in the batter’s box, Sanchez could struggle early on. If he continues to let his emotions get the better of him, the results could be even worse. Be wary of drafting him in 2012.
After a disastrous start to his season in Kansas City, Sanchez was dealt to Colorado, where his season promptly got worse before it was ultimately cut short by an injury (or possibly an "injury"). Sanchez came out as the rotten milk in two trades in one season, as the Giants got the better of the Royals, and then the Royals got the better of the Rockies in dealing him. Sanchez's strikeout percentage fell through the floor, dropping nearly 10 percent. It fell so far that he actually walked more batters than he struck out -- making him one of just three pitchers to turn that particular "feat" last season (minimum 60 innings pitched). His velocity also continued a slow descent into irrelevancy. In 2009, Sanchez's fastball averaged 91.6 mph, but in the three seasons since, he has averaged 90.5, 89.7 and 89.1 mph. With his strikeout rate and velocity declining, and his walk rate spiking along with his ERA, FIP and WHIP on the rise, there really isn't much about Sanchez that is redeeming other than the fact that he primarily throws a baseball with his left hand. (Paul Swydan)
The Quick Opinion:
Now a free agent following a haunting 2012 campaign, there is little chance that Sanchez finds an opportunity at the major league level for the outset of the 2013 season.
There are reports circling that the Cubs might have signed Sanchez with the idea to convert him to a reliever. If this is the case, he may have a chance to have positive value again, though that's not even a given. Now in his age-31 season, Sanchez has yet to figure out his base-on-balls problem, and his saving grace -- his strikeouts -- have been declining for quite some time. I'm sure he's a nice enough fellow, though. (David Temple)
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Updated: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 3:35 AM ET
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