Mets of the Future: Catching prospect Ali Sanchez raking at Double-A
By Tim Boyle
New York Mets catching prospect Ali Sanchez is hitting well in Double-A. Could he have a future with the big league squad?
The story of the 2019 Binghamton Rumble Ponies was supposed to center on top New York Mets prospects Anthony Kay and Andres Gimenez. Kay grabbed plenty of headlines early with his dominant performance on the mound and subsequent promotion to Triple-A. Gimenez hasn’t had nearly as successful of a stint in Double-A. He’s striking out a ton and hitting well below expectations.
Minor league numbers are important to a degree. Epic slumps could mean the end to a career whereas a season-long hot streak has the potential to lift a prospect up to the next level. For Mets catching prospect Ali Sanchez, the latter is true.
Finding stability behind the plate has been difficult for the Mets. When they went out and signed Wilson Ramos this past offseason, they locked up a few seasons. Ramos is a veteran, though, and the Mets may need to turn toward their minor league system for some permanence. Tomas Nido doesn’t look like an everyday option. If Sanchez’s breakout 2019 is for real, he may soon become the man the Mets target to take the load behind the dish in the future.
More from Rising Apple
- NY Mets News: Marcus Stroman sees “potential fit” with the Angels
- NY Mets were too “seek” and not enough “destroy” last winter
- NY Mets: 1 trade target to consider from each 100-loss team
- NY Mets: Top 12 free agents the team should look to sign this winter
- NY Mets: Jeff Wilpon’s legacy continues to plague the Amazins
As the 26th prospect in the organization per MLB.com, Sanchez is behind Francisco Alvarez and teammate Patrick Mazeika. Sanchez and Mazeika have shared catching duties in Double-A this season. Mazeika, while hitting well and with some power, has about the same number of hits as Sanchez. The difference is he has about 50 more plate appearances.
Though his first 229 plate appearances in 2019, Sanchez has slashed .289/.345/.355 with a home run and 11 doubles. They aren’t huge numbers by any strange. From a 22-year-old catcher in Double-A, they are worth watching just in case Sanchez has become a formidable hitter.
Sanchez is regarded as a plus-defender with less favorable attributes when there’s a bat in his hand. His high batting average season in 2019 is unexpected. He hasn’t hit this way before in the minor leagues. Potentially some fool’s gold, it’s important we don’t rush to any conclusions about him.
At his age, he’s three years younger than Mazeika. If anyone gets a promotion first, expect it to be the 25-year-old catcher drafted back in 2015; not the 2013 amateur free agent, Sanchez.
Want your voice heard? Join the Rising Apple team!
Long-term, things could change. None of the team’s catching prospects, including the recently graduated Nido, will become the next Mike Piazza. Above-average offensive production and the ability to call a good game is all this team needs. Sanchez’s promising 2019 shows he could become the man for the job sometime in the future.