Prospect Watch: Tony Sanchez and Alen Hanson Each Homer


A look at how the current top 20 prospects did today.  Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors. If a player is in the majors, he will be removed, everyone below him will be shifted up a spot, and a new player will be added to the bottom of the list. Rankings are from the mid-season rankings, and links on each name go to their Pirates Prospects player page.

1. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Altoona (3-5, 3.65) – DNP

2. Gregory Polanco, CF, Altoona (.312) – DNP

3. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, West Virginia (3-1, 2.92) – DNP

4. Alen Hanson, SS, Bradenton (.282) – 3-for-8, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 3 SB

5. Austin Meadows, CF, 2013 1st Round Pick, Unsigned

6. Josh Bell, RF, West Virginia (.290) – 2-for-4, 2B

7. Nick Kingham, RHP, Altoona (0-0, 0.00) – DNP

8. Luis Heredia, RHP, Extended Spring Training

9. Reese McGuire, C, 2013 1st Round Pick, Unsigned

10. Dilson Herrera, 2B, West Virginia (.284) – 1-for-4

11. Tony Sanchez, C, Indianapolis (.301) – 2-for-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI

12. Barrett Barnes, CF, West Virginia (.207) – 0-for-3

13. Kyle McPherson, RHP, Indianapolis (0-1, 19.29) – Triple-A DL

14. Stetson Allie, 1B, West Virginia (.326) – 1-for-3, BB

15. Wyatt Mathisen, C, West Virginia (.185) – Low-A DL

16. Clay Holmes, RHP, West Virginia (2-5, 4.95) – DNP

17. Stolmy Pimentel, RHP, Altoona (4-3, 3.61) – DNP

18. Vic Black, RHP, Indianapolis (0-2, 2.63) – Triple-A DL

19. Harold Ramirez, CF, Extended Spring Training

20. Blake Taylor, LHP, 2013 2nd Round Pick, Unsigned



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Top Pitcher: Orlando Castro, LHP (7-4, 1.93) – 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Tony Sanchez, C (.301) – 2-for-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI

Home Runs: Tony Sanchez (8), Alen Hanson (4)


Tony Sanchez hit his eighth homer of the year. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
Tony Sanchez hit his eighth homer of the year. (Photo Credit: David Hague)


Box Score

Result: Durham 10, Indianapolis 7

Starting Pitcher: Jeanmar Gomez, RHP (3.00) – 3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Tony Sanchez, C (.301) – 2-for-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Duke Welker, RHP (2.94) – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

Andrew Lambo, DH (.231) – 1-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI, BB

Jared Goedert, 3B (.247) – 2-for-2, 3B, 2 BB, 2 RBI

Game Notes: Jeanmar Gomez started his rehab assignment with Indianapolis, throwing 64 pitches and 36 strikes in his first outing. Tony Sanchez hit his eighth homer of the year, then followed that with his 18th double of the year to put Indianapolis up 3-0. Duke Welker has pitched the last nine innings without allowing an earned run. He has a 7:2 K/BB ratio in that stretch, with five hits allowed.



Altoona was rained out.



Game One Box Score

Result: Lakeland 7, Bradenton 6

Starting Pitcher: Robby Rowland, RHP (4.34) – 5.0 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Alen Hanson, SS (.282) – 2-for-4, HR, 3 RBI, SB

Other Notable Performers:

Taylor Lewis, LF (.208) – 2-for-4, 2 2B

Game Notes: Alen Hanson hit his fourth homer of the year in game one, and stole his 16th base of the year. Coming into this game he had a .301/.371/.454 line in 183 at-bats since his benching in mid-April. He also had just six errors in 48 games.

Game Two Box Score

Result: Bradenton 9, Lakeland 5

Starting Pitcher: Matt Benedict, RHP (5.55) – 3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Willy Garcia, RF (.244) – 3-for-5, 2B, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Dan Gamache, 2B (.297) – 2-for-5, 2B, BB

Eric Avila, 1B (.200) – 2-for-5, 3B, 3 RBI, BB

Alen Hanson, SS (.282) – 1-for-4, 2 BB, 2 SB

Game Notes: Alen Hanson added two more stolen bases in game two of the double header, giving him 18 on the year. He also added two errors in the game, giving him eight in his last 49 games. Bradenton was down 5-2 in the 7th inning but came back to tie the game, capped off by an RBI triple by Eric Avila. They scored four runs in the 11th inning, after five straight singles from Jose Osuna, Willy Garcia, Elias Diaz, Chris Lashmet, and Avila.



Box Score

Result: Greensboro 3, West Virginia 2

Starting Pitcher: Orlando Castro, LHP (7-4, 1.93) – 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Josh Bell, RF (.290) – 2-for-4, 2B

Other Notable Performers:

Francisco Diaz, C (.274) – 2-for-4, 2B

Stetson Allie, DH (.326) – 1-for-3, BB

Game Notes: Josh Bell hit his 20th double of the year. In his last ten games he is 14-for-35 with five doubles and a homer. Orlando Castro has given up two or fewer earned runs in 12 of his 13 starts this year. On the season he has a 1.93 ERA in 74.2 innings, with a 63:6 K/BB ratio. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him move up to Bradenton after this start.

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Well that sucks. Tim, John, Wilbur – you guys hear or see any of this?

Lee Young

That’s why I posted my question. I trust Tim more than I do DK, to be honest.



From DK’s column today:
” Michael McKenry can’t throw out a runner to save his life, but don’t look for Tony Sanchez to come up soon. Baseball people who have seen Sanchez in the past week say he’s had a lapse — one would hope it’s temporary — into a case of throwing yips, even getting the ball back to the pitcher. I love the kid and what he’s done at the plate, but he needs to be all together before a promotion”


Can somebody please tell why Dejan went from being fair, informative and insightful to being just angry at times? Did Neal, Bob and Frank knock over his mailbox and set his shed on fire? I’ve heard nothing about the Sasser yips. I’m torn on Sanchez being promoted. On one hand he clearly helps the team now and ABSOLUTELY on defense. The Fort can’t throw anyone out and he can’t seem to hit anymore which was his strength. But I wonder if it’s difficult to go from starting 6 times a week to twice a week and if that hurts the player. Anyone?

Lee Young

Dejan K says that Sanchez has a case of the Mackey Sasser yips.
Any truth to that?


I don’t follow TSanchez on Twitter (although I’ve heard that I should) – anyone see any reaction from him to that, or has anyone asked him for his reaction on Twitter? Just curious.


As much as I like The Fort, he looked terrible last night. At what point do they start considering bringing up Sanchez?

Lee Young

I agree, but I am not sure I want Tony sitting behind Russ.
I’d rather see him playing everyday.


I agree with lee young. Sanchez needs to play most days right now. Only 50 + games is a pretty small sample. If there is an injury, or if he is still playing well in July, definitely move him up.


So you guys are saying they should release McKenry? I don’t see them doing that, and I think that is why Sanchez isn’t in the majors. I recall two years ago when they had 4 catchers go down with injuries. If one goes down now they promote Sanchez. If they dump McKenry and someone gets injured, then what?


I would think this is the ideal time to bring Sanchez up. One, the backup is struggling, so it’s not like you’re forcing or rolling the dice on bringing up the AAA guy.

Two – I would get him under Russell Martin’s unbrella, ASAP, while he is with the Pirates. That, along with 1-2 Major League starts/week, and being a righty bench bat the rest of the time, will provide better finishing touches to Tony’s game than 5 AAA starts per week for “X” more weeks.

If you think he’s a future MLB catcher, you won’t find a more ideal opportunity to test those waters than right now, when the downside is virtually nil and the upside is…..who knows?

Better try to see what you have there before the trade deadline – the more info the better.

IC Bob

They guy has been a pro now for over 4 years. Most catchers come into the league in a platoon or as a back up (Molina, Ruiz, Napoli, ect.) then work their way to the starting position. A year and half should suffice to get Sanchez ready to shoulder the load. This team is good and if we don’t think its time for Sanchez then at least find another guy that can play the position. One last thought on this. If we promote Sanchez we can clear another spot on the 40 man roster which is getting more crowded with talent every day.

IC Bob

Sometimes you have to do whats best for the team now. I think you could have Sanchez catch twice a week and have Martin fill in at third or RF against tough lefties once a week. Quite frankly it was not fair to Morton to pair him with the Fort. Its like a little league game (every player running at will) with him back their and Morton has always been slow to the plate.


Bob- you make a great point. We do have to do whats best for the team now. Quite possibly, Sanchez will not be the long term answer at catcher anyways, and likely won’t be as good as Martin already is. I’m sorry its just a fact. We need someone who can defensively not hurt us, and Sanchez won’t be a liability with the bat either, even worst case scenario at this point. Sanchez is right now, a better catcher than the fort. The only way you can play McKenry right now without hurting the team, is putting him with a lefty starter or a righty who is really quick to the plate. We don’t have much of the latter last time I checked. Morton should have had Russ behind the plate in his first start, couldn’t agree more.


Hanson wants to join Polanco in Altoona. He will tear it up until he gets there.

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