Both Tony Sanchez and Bryce Harper grew up as catchers, but the similarities would seem to end there. Sanchez was seen as a late first round talent after his junior season at Boston College in 2009, and the Pirates were criticized heavily when they slected him fourth overall that year. He is a defense-first catcher, and his long-term offensive ceiling is probably that of a league average hitter. Harper, on the other hand, was one of the most hyped prospects in history when he was drafted number one overall at age 17 in June of this year. His impact will come at the plate, where his tremendous power potential is virtually unprecedented from a player so young. There have always been some small doubts about his ability to stick at catcher, and the Nationals have already moved him to the outfield to get his bat to the majors sooner.
That being said, with both currently playing in the Arizona Fall League, it sounds as if Harper may be rubbing off on Sanchez a bit.
Matt has covered the Pirates at Wait ‘Til Next Year, Pittsburgh Lumber Co. and now Pirates Prospects. He served as Pirates team expert for Heater Magazine in 2009 and 2010 and has contributed to Graphical Player 2009, 2010 and 2011. Matt was also the editor of the 2011 and 2012 Pirates Prospects Annuals.