Friday, February 3, 2012

Tony Sanchez breaks jaw AGAIN

In a report earlier in the week Tony Sanchez, the Pirates 1st Round Draft pick in 2009, had broken his jaw again.  Tony was selected 4th overall in the 2009 draft, which many believed was a stretch considering that there were many strong pitchers still available.  2011 All-Star Aaron Crow was still available as were top prospects Jacob Turner, Zack Wheeler, Shelby Miller, Kyle Gibson, and one of baseball's top prospects outfielder Mike Trout.  The Pirates drafted Tony for his strong defensive play and believed that he could become a quality hitter who will hit for average. 

Tony was one of the first draft picks to sign in 2009 and jumped through 3 levels of the minors being fast tracked to the majors.  Between three levels of A ball in 2009, Tony hit for .309 in 215 plate appearances with a slugging percentage of .539 and OPS of .946.  Those were strong enough numbers for Tony to become the Bradenton Marauders opening day catcher in 2010.  He began the 2010 season picking up right where he left off in 2009, hitting .314 in 250 plate appearances.  For the first time since Jason Kendall, it seemed that the Pirates had a legitamate catching prospect that could make an impact at the major league level. 

Things got very scary for Sanchez in June 2010 when he suffered a broken jaw after being beaned for the second time in less than a month.  His exceptional performance earned him an invite to the 2010 All-Star Future's game, but due to his injury he was not able to participate.  Tony would remain out of the lineup for the rest of the season.

In 2011, Tony began the season in AA Altoona, where his performance was not nearly as good.  As a 23 year old playing in AA, he struggled offensively.  Hitting only .241 in 469 plate appearances, he managed only 44 RBI (9 more than he had in 2010 with twice as many plate appearances). 

A few months ago, Tony had gotten into a bar fight.  No further details are available regarding how it happened, but his jaw has been broken again.  Since he has reported to Florida for the team's minicamp and showed no signs of a setback, it appears that he has healed fully from the incident.  Tony will be a nonroster invitee to this year's spring training. 

Here's my newest Tony Sanchez I won for just a couple bucks off ebay.

It's a 2011 Bowman Sterling purple refractor numbered 7/10 

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