The Marlins are planning to recall outfield prospect Jesús Sánchez from Triple-A Jacksonville, reports Craig Mish of SportsGrid (Twitter link). The 23-year-old is in line for his first opportunity at the major league level in 2021.
Sánchez originally signed with the Rays and posted huge numbers at the minors’ lowest levels. He entered the 2018 season as one of the game’s top 50 prospects, in the estimation of Baseball America, and remained among the sport’s top 100 minor league talents for the following two seasons. Miami acquired Sánchez alongside reliever Ryne Stanek in advance of the 2019 trade deadline, sending righties Nick Anderson and Trevor Richards to Tampa Bay in return.
The left-handed hitting Sánchez scuffled in his first crack at Triple-A down the stretch that season, and the lack of minor league ball in 2020 meant he spent much of last year at the alternate training site. Sánchez did make a very brief MLB debut last season, struggling over 29 plate appearances.
That 2019-20 downturn in production diminished Sánchez’s status a bit. He fell off top 100 prospects lists entering 2021- although he still checked in eighth among Marlins farmhands at both Baseball America and the Athletic, and tenth in the system at FanGraphs. Sánchez has since gotten off to a fantastic start in Jacksonville, hitting .349/.400/.643 with nine homers in 140 plate appearances. That showing has earned him another look at the big league level.
Sánchez, who fits best in a corner outfield spot, draws praise for big raw power and electric bat speed. Public prospect rankers have expressed concern with his approach at the plate for a while, though, and Sánchez has continued to be highly aggressive. His 6.4% walk rate in Triple-A this year matches his career mark in the minors. Sánchez clearly has offensive upside, and he’s generally kept his strikeouts in check (career 18.3% minor league rate), but it remains to be seen if he’ll prove patient enough to cement himself as a quality everyday player.
Corey Dickerson, the Marlins regular left fielder, left Sunday’s game agains the Braves with foot soreness. He didn’t play last night, and it’s unclear if Sánchez’s promotion is related to Dickerson’s health status. The veteran outfielder has hit an average .263/.324/.380 over his first 225 plate appearances.