Monday, July 27, 2009
Alejandro Sanabia flirts with no hitter, just gets her number, no goodnight kiss
On Sunday afternoon, Marlins right-hander Alejandro Sanabia came within 6 outs of pitching a no hitter against the Dunedin Blue Jays. Throwing mostly two-seam fastballs, the 6'1 righty struck out 6 and walked just 1 in his 8 innings of work. Coming into the game against the Jays, Sanabia had knocked around in July, giving up 13 runs in 19.1 innings. The remedy for his struggles would be a visit from Dunedin, a team that now only has 4 hits off him in 15 innings this season.
Sanabia has been a nice surprise this year for the Hammerheads. In 104.1 innings, Alejandro has gone 9-5 with a 3.45era and a .231baa. He has given up just 89 hits while walking 36 and striking out 68.
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 has been a bright spot in high-A Jupiter. His work on his secondary pitches is what has transformed him into a legitimate pitching prospect. With his stuff, he’s definitely a big time sleeper in this system and if he can finish strong, he will easily be one of the better pitching prospects in the Marlins system heading into 2010.