After signing in January 2022 as an international free agent, Carlos Sanchez had a big professional debut later that summer. Sanchez spent the summer in the Dominican Summer League and hit .355/.506/.442 with 40 walks, 14 stolen bases, and just 28 strikeouts in 46 games played.
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When the 2023 season began the Cincinnati Reds brought Carlos Sanchez stateside. After playing third base and right field in 2022, he began to play more shortstop than third base and he spent no time in the outfield. His 2023 season debut saw him walk five times, going 0-1 with an RBI and two runs scored. The next day he’d pick up two hits and kept on hitting for the next four weeks. On July 3rd he went 4-5 with a walk, double, triple, and he drove in five runs. That pushed his season line to .370/.532/.565 with 16 walks through 14 games.
Over the next 13 days, though, Sanchez went into a slump and went 1-23 with 10 strikeouts. He caught a little hot streak in the next three games, going 4-12 with a double and a triple. But he went cold again after that, going 4-21 (.191) over the next two-and-a-half weeks, though it did come with 11 walks in eight games.
On August 10th he picked up two hits and a walk against the Cubs and hit .385 over the next two weeks to end the Arizona Complex League season. After not playing in official games for two weeks, the Reds sent him to Single-A Daytona where he would play the final week of their season. After going 1-12 in the first three games, Sanchez went 2-4 with a walk and two doubles to end his season.
For all 2023 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).
Carlos Sanchez Scouting Report
Position: Shortstop/Third Base | B/T: L/R
Height: 6′ 0″ | Weight: 177 lbs. | Acquired: International Free Agent (2022) | Born: January 12, 2005
Hitting | He has an average to slightly above-average hit tool.
Power | Has average power potential.
Speed | He has average speed.
Defense | He has average defense.
Arm | His arm is above-average.
At the plate there are plenty of things to like. Sanchez can go with the pitch and use the opposite field quite well. He has a good idea of the strikezone and he’s walked a whole bunch in his career to this point. He’s hit for plenty of average in both of his seasons as a professional, and his on-base percentage has been other worldly.
For all of the good things, though, there are some concerns. After making contact at a high rate in 2022, his strikeout rate jumped up by 67% in 2023 as he struck out 25% of the time he stepped to the plate in 2023. In 2022, Sanchez hit a lot of ground balls – 63% of the balls he put in play were on the ground. The average big league ground ball rate is 42%. But in 2023 that rate went even higher as it jumped up to 73%. Only three other hitters in the organization even topped 50% and Sanchez was 19% ahead of the next closest guy.
Hitting the ball on the ground at such a high rate is going to severely limit how much power a player is going to be able to hit for. You just don’t pick up many extra-base hits on ground balls and you certainly don’t hit home runs on them. Sanchez is going to have to make some big time adjustments to get the ball in the air more if he’s going to get to the power potential he has.
In the field there were some positive things that took place in 2023. He moved out of the outfield and onto the infield full time. In 2022 he played in 18 games at third base and he made 11 errors, posting a .788 fielding percentage. He was just 17 and between the age, the field conditions around the Dominican Summer League, and the caliber of defense played at first base – errors are going to happen. But a .788 fielding percentage was bad no matter how you wanted to slice it. This season in 19 games at third base he made two errors. He also played in 23 games at shortstop and only made three errors, posting fielding percentages of .950 and .954 at the two positions.
Sanchez has plenty of things you can look at and see a quality player down the line. The big thing for him will be to either get his contact rate back up to where it was in 2022 (or even better), or for him to start getting the ball in the air more often. Ideally both of those things would happen, but taking big strides in one or the other could allow at least one of the tools in the batters box to improve enough that it could work with the rest of his game.
Carlos Sanchez Spray Chart
Interesting Stat on Carlos Sanchez
In games played on Tuesday and Wednesday’s he went 6-38 (.158). In the other five days of the week he hit .311.