In a system weakened by by over-agressive promotions and a lack of international presence, the Chicago White Sox may have found a future gem in Carlos Sanchez. This has been a good year for the young infielder, as he's gained national attention after playing in the Futures Game and, currently, in the Arizona Fall League.
Height: 5'11 Weight: 175 lb.
Bats: S Throws: R
The biggest question regarding Sanchez is where he ends up defensively, with many scouts thinking it is second base. From what I saw, I think he can play a decent shortstop at the major league level, with my only concern being his arm. He showed good hands and range when I saw him play, and he flashed good fielding instincts and ability when watching him during pre-game drills.
At the plate he features a compact swing that is quick and straight to the ball. He should generate batting averages near or at .300 consistently if everything breaks right. He showed the ability both during the game and in batting practice to hit line drives to all fields. There's not much there in the way of power, and Sanchez is going to have to rely on batting average for most of his offensive value.
The important thing to remember with Sanchez is that at age 20, he could very easily be a sophomore in college, or a young player trying to break out of short-season leagues. So, the fact that he was doing well in the advanced-A Carolina League highlights how impressive he's been.
So far through five Arizona Fall League games this year, Sanchez is batting 5-18 (all singles), and has walked four times while striking out five. Although small sample size definitely applies here, Sanchez is four-for-five in stolen base attempts in the Arizona Fall League, as opposed to the 26-for-41 rate he posted across three levels of the minors this past season.
Over a sample of 416 PAs in the Carolina League this year, Sanchez posted a wRC+ of 117 and batted .315. Sanchez also posted a line drive rate of 23%, improving on the 17.7% rate he posted for all of 2011. He also was able to cut down on his strikeouts, posting a K/BB ratio of 2.24 for the season, which is down from 2.55 in 2011.
One last interesting bit on Sanchez is that in a small sample-size (of possibly unreliable data) of 133 PAs in the Southern League, he swung at only 12.9% of pitches outside the strike zone. Please do take that number with a grain of salt, as it is a small sample-size of very hard-to-measure data, but worth mentioning nonetheless.
Sanchez is a guy who could someday become a Erick Aybar-type player, posting good batting averages and playing both up-the-middle infield spots for a major league team.