43. Alejandro Sanabia -RHP - 6'1 - 165lbs
(last year: 42)
The Marlins drafted Alejandro Sanabia in the 32nd round of the 2006 draft. The San Diego, native spent the 2005 season as part of the rookie league Gulf Coast Marlins pitching staff, going 3-1 with a 3.24 ERA in 11 appearances. Opponents hit just .169 off him while with the GCL Marlins. He shows a sinking fastball at 88-92mph that tops out at 93. He has a big slurve-like breaking ball and is working on a changeup. The changeup improved greatly from 2007 to 2008.
Stepping up from Jamestown to Greensboro was a big challenge for the 19 year old. In Jamestown, he was able to hold right-handed batters to a .212 average while walking just 9 and striking out 42. Obviously this meant that lefties killed him, which they did to a tune of .347. Pitching in Jamestown as an 18 year old, the late round pick certainly opened up some eyes in a much older league. Marlins vice president of player development and scouting Jim Fleming just raves about him, especially with his bounce back in the second half of the 2007 season after being hit hard in Jamestown early. He had a 5.80era before the break, and posted a 3.74era after, while batters hit just .224 off of him.
Sanabia took another step forward in his development in 2008. He held his own in the South Atlantic League, posting a 4.93era, .273baa and a 1.36whip in 96.2 innings. It seems as if he turned a corner late, as in his final 10 games he went 3-2 with a 3.78era. In those 52.1 innings of work, he gave up just 53 hits, walked 11 and struck out 41.
Still very young and quite raw, Sanabia should get a shot in high-A Jupiter where hopefully his secondary pitches keep on improving. With his stuff, he’s definitely a big time sleeper in this system.