Lolo Sanchez Named as a Potential Breakout Prospect for 2018

After posting their list of the top 100 prospects on Monday, Baseball America posted their list of the top potential breakout prospects on Thursday afternoon. The list was broken up into two groups, one for guys who were just outside the top 100 and the other list was for guys who were further away, but could make the jump to a top 100 prospect when they update their list.

Lolo Sanchez, the 18-year-old center field prospect for the GCL Pirates in 2017, made the second list. He hit .284/.359/.417 in 51 games this past season, while picking up 14 stolen bases, 17 extra-base hits and a league leading 42 runs scored. In each of his first two seasons, Sanchez has walked more often than he has struck out. His overall stats weren’t impressive in the DSL as a rookie in 2016, but he was one of the youngest players in the league and his season got off to a slow/late start due to a leg injury near the end of the DSL preseason schedule.

From our 2016 DSL recap, which was based on the scouting reports we got from down there, this was the wrap-up of Sanchez’s write-up:

“Sanchez will be a player to watch in the GCL next season. With plus speed and his ability to get on base, along with his defense in center field, he has a chance to be a legit prospect at this time next season.”

He showed off all of those tools when we saw him and on top of what we already knew, we saw a player who was driving the ball with some authority. Sanchez is going to naturally fill out some as he gets older, which will help some with his power. He’s 6’0″ tall, but does not have a big frame, so it will be hard for him to add much muscle. His power now comes from his quick bat and ability to square the ball up often. He already has an advanced approach at the plate and as the BA article points out, terrific hand-eye coordination. He’s a four-tool player with plus speed already, who could eventually have average power.

Sanchez’s game is well-rounded enough that he could end up with the West Virginia Power to begin the season, still a few weeks shy of his 19th birthday. The Pirates have shown the willingness to push advanced hitters at a young age, sending Austin Meadows, Reese McGuire, Cole Tucker and Ke’Bryan Hayes all to Low-A ball as teenagers. Sanchez fits that mold.

  • More like Cutch

  • @piratesprospects-a87ff679a2f3e71d9181a67b7542122c:disqus @Tim Williams – I would love to know your feelings about the Pirates shedding payroll Cutch/Cole already + possibly Harrison and the Brewers (who are in a “smaller market” than us) adding $30m per year payroll in the past hour and now sport a $50m outfield?

    All the prospects in the world does not matter when:

    A. You will not trade prospects to improve the big club
    B. Smaller market teams in your own division spend more consistently at a higher rate to improve said big club
    C. You own an MLB franchise and your name is Nutting

    • Those additions by my calculations will put the Brewers at around 85 Million this year. The Pirates as of right now are sitting at 81 Million. The last few years the Pirates have averaged roughly around 100 million by end of season.

      Going off Beginning of year lets compare the last six seasons. Data from only resource I found easily. Records in ()

      2017 Brewers 63M (86-76)
      2017 Pirates 100M (75-87)

      2016 Brewers 98M (73-89)
      2016 Pirates 86M (78-83)

      2015 Brewers 105M (68-94)
      2015 Pirates 88M (98-64)

      2014 Brewers 103M (82-80)
      2014 Pirates 78M (88-74)

      2013 Brewers 82M (74-88)
      2013 Pirates 80M (94-68)

      2012 Brewers 97M (83-79)
      2012 Pirates 63M (79-83)

      So in those 6 seasons the Pirates have started the season with a lower payroll the Brewers 5 of the 6 seasons. They ended with better records in 3 of the 6 seasons. The ending salary for most of those teams was roughly around 100 million. So the Pirates allowed for room to add at the deadline.

      I really fail to see how the Brewers plan has worked better then the Pirates plan. Pirates have made 3 post season appearances in those 6 seasons the Brewers 0.

      • Looks like the Brewer’s current plan will work out better than the Pirate’s.

        • Brewers are next in a long line of teams who have tried to win the WS by winning the hot stove league. Never works out well.

        • HOW???? Based on what??? Did you read what I just posted???

          • Noooooo I didn’t read it……of course I did! But my point is that the Brewers have a team that proved last season that they are close. So what did they do? Added two really good pieces to an 86 win team in the hopes of winning the division. What did the Pirate’s FO do after winning 98 games? Began the systematic dismantling of the team starting with the Neil Walker for John Niese trade.

            • They had an 86 win team that had a salary of 63 Million. So they had room to grow.

              The Pirates had a 98 win season with a salary by the end of the season over 100 Million They had to cut cost.

              Equal comparison would be the 88 win team in 2014 that they added to in order to get to the 98 win team in 2015. Starting salaries 78 to 88. But you can cherry pick facts to work for you if you like.

              • Like you are……

                • How, I showed facts over a 6 year span wins and salary. You are talking about additions for this season with no wins to argue since no games have been played. Lets review after the season. And I also showed salary numbers at this point are similar. But again even in the years the Brewers spent more 5 out of the last 6 they have 3 less post season appearances then the Pirates. So again do not follow your argument.

                  Even if it works this year, then that would be 6 of the last 7 they spent more to get 2 less post season appearances. Still not seeing your argument.

                  • Quite simply, are you satisfied with what the FO has done? Payroll has nothing to do with it.

                    • Do I agree with every move no. Do I think they are the worst no. It’s actually not a very simple question. I don’t blame the FO I really blame MLB for creating the environment that puts teams like the Pirates at a competitive disadvantage.

      • Hi Ron,
        Good research with the payroll numbers. I prefer using
        as it is usually better updated (though it doesnt include Lorenzo Cain addition) and more dynamic. Reportedly, the Brewers are actually in the mix for Yu Darvish as well. No matter how one wants to spin the narrative, a team that spends more on their payroll (long term) will always out-perform a team that does not. Example of this would be, even if Brewers under perform in the next 3 years and Cain has strong years, they can flip Cain for several good prospects. This is a method of talent acquisition that is not evaluated as well (almost like a “secondary draft pool”)

        • Like the Pirates did in trading Hanrahan to get Melancon, then Melancon to get Rivero. They have done that as well.

        • Oh yeah. I like the site you reference good stuff there but that has where they finished the season I went looking for opening day salary. That is a better reflection of off season moves. But good site you use though.

    • Brewers made some exciting moves for sure but they haven’t even moved the needle in terms of their projections for 2018. If they can somehow manage to make a move for starting pitching I think they will be legit contenders. They got some nice performances from their rotation last year but their starting 5 right now are Anderson, Davies, Chacin, Gallardo and Guerra (with Nelson currently recovering from shoulder surgery). Their lineup can rake but their rotation leaves a lot to be desired.

      • You really, honestly, think they have not changed projections for their 2018 season by acquiring both Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich? C’mon man, even you being a Pirates employee would have to recognize that they clearly have 😛

        • That’s not me saying that, I was just going by the Fangraphs projections that still have them in 4th place in the division. Do I think they are better than that? Absolutely. They are a better team than Pittsburgh and Cincy, but they’ll need to make some more moves to settle their roster. They might continue to get some nice performance from their rotation but we’ll see.

        • and I’ve been waiting on that paycheck from Nutting but it must’ve been lost in the mail haha

      • That move will be coming next I bet. How do they do it? They are a small market team.

  • Lolo to Morgantown please!

  • The Brewers traded for Christian Yelich this afternoon and then signed Lorenzo Cain. I find it hard to imagine the Pirates ever doing either of those deals.

    • Yes, this is what “going for it” looks looks like. It doesn’t like like Jonathan Niese and Ryan Vogelsong and over hyped prospects sitting in the minors.

      • Of course, in a few years this might also look like a huge mistake.

        • Yes, saw an analysis somewhere on the history of about 15 “Cain type of players” (speed, good defensive OF), and the drop off in WAR from approx. ages 31-35 was extreme. Doesn’t mean Cain will do the same, but the odds don’t look great.

    • Brewers aren’t done either. They have 5 major league outfielders and a need in their rotation. They’re bound to trade Domingo Santana, Keon Broxton or both for pitching.

  • terrygordon30
    January 25, 2018 8:57 pm

    Sounds like Lolo will be traded for salary relief in a few years when the Pirates need salary flexibility.

  • In other news, Brewers trade for Yelich. No one can accuse Brewers GM of protecting his prospects like Golden Eggs.

    • Didn’t look like to me they gave up that much for him. I am sure the Bucs will trump that soon with a Jaime Garcia pick up or someone similar.

      • According to Keith Law Milwaukee actually gave up a lot.
        2 current top 100 prospects, plus a 2017 top 100 prospect.

      • BuccosFanStuckinMD
        January 27, 2018 3:56 pm

        Yes, that would be a typical Pirates move – signing an overpriced retread who isn’t an upgrade over their internal options…just say no to Garcia…use the payroll dollars to get a bat….

    • Now they sign Lorenzo Cain! Has to be another trade coming soon. I’d suspect Braun maybe?

      • I think they’re stuck w Braun’s contract. Yelich, Cain and Braun will be their starting OF.

        Going to trade others for SP, I’d guess.

        • Man if they get some pitching, ugh. NL central is turning into the AL east.

          • Check out some of the new blasts from Scott Boras directed at Pirates’s ownership. Running a cash cow, fielding a poor product, fans deserve notice of the facts.

            • Scott Boras just likes to run his mouth. Is there some truth to it, yea. But the *facts* you talk of are just Boras pretending he had some idea of how much teams have to spend. In his eyes, everyone should have a 200 mil payroll. Im sorry but every time he opens his mouth I wanna puke.

              • Boras has a hard on for Pirates ever since Alvarez signing. He should be complaining about high revenue teams not spending this winter to avoid paying luxury tax. What a clown.

              • He is citing franchise valuations from Forbes and payroll numbers that cannot be denied. Pirates are becoming poster child for the 1/3 of MLB not trying to win that he has dubbed the “non-competitive cancer.” Whether you like him or not or dispute some of the numbers, a very bright light is being shined on Nutting and team and it does not look good. And they are handling it very poorly.

                • Pirates Forbes Valuations and Rankings – 2008 to 2017

                  2008 $292 mil #28
                  2009 $288 mil #29
                  2010 $289 mil #30 Dead Last
                  2011 $301 mil #28 ‘Cutch
                  2012 $336 mil #28 ‘Cutch
                  2013 $479 mil #27 ‘Cutch
                  2014 $572 mil #23 ‘Cutch
                  2015 $900 mil #17 ‘Cutch
                  2016 $975 mil #18
                  2017 $1.25 bil #17

                  These increases have come in spite of having one of the worst TV deals in MLB. Nutting, RC,and NH have built a solid foundation with talent, and they are now within 2 years of a new TV deal which could mean an additional $30 mil/yr or more to work with.

                  • To ‘work with’ how? You mean how Nutting, RC, and NH non-committed to spending the $50m that they received THIS year? That forbes evaluation will certainly fall after this year when attendance flops and TV numbers continue to dive…

                    • The attendance could go down, but it has already dropped 330,000 from 2016 attendance of 2,249,201 to 2017 attendance of 1,919,447. But, as far as a source of revenue, Attendance is more of an aesthetic resource.

                      And, my number of $30 mil quoted above for a new TV deal is way off. An additional $10 to $15 mil will be tops. I admire the willingness of the Brewers to go after a guy like Yelich, but 5/$80 to a 32 year old CF?

        • I don’t think so. Santana will be there. Braun to the bench and platoon at 1B with a some OF mixed in. Santana had an 875 OPS last years. He is not getting traded and he’s not going to the bench.

      • BuccosFanStuckinMD
        January 27, 2018 3:54 pm

        It will be easier for them to trade Santana – and given his contract and age, may get a better return than trading Braun…

    • BuccosFanStuckinMD
      January 25, 2018 10:19 pm

      They are a much better run organization than the Pirates, so no surprise. If they develop a rotation, they could pass the Cubs and challenge the Cards….

      • So… you have it as:
        1. Cards
        2. Cubs
        3. Brewers

        • BuccosFanStuckinMD
          January 27, 2018 3:53 pm

          As of right now, yes….if Brewers improve their rotation, they can jump over the Cubs…Red and Pirates fighting for last place

      • Last I checked their pitching still sucks. I’ll believe it when I see it.

        • Their pitching ranked ninth in MLB last year. Not great but far from the suck line.

          • That was with Jimmy Nelson. He’s out for most, if not all, of this season. They needed to use the Cain money for SP.

    • I will bet a press release comes out from Roberto Nutting that the Pirates were in on Yelich, but fell “just short.”

  • Go, Lolo, Go!

  • What was his signing bonus? I bet it wasn’t too big.

    • I’ll take 10 to 20 of these kind of signings over one Luis Heredia signing every time.

    • $450k, so one of our higher figures

      • 9th highest Bonus EVER paid by the Pirates. Marte and Polanco are the poster boys of not having to spend big to get results. Just making it to the MLB level is a major success, and they have both taken their success much further than that. Marte, 29, 18.6 Career WAR, and Polanco, 26, 5.3 Career WAR.

        From my old Prospect Guides, Marte was signed for $85,000 and Polanco for $150,000. Sanchez, 18, at $450K; Sherten Apostel, 18, $200K: and Rodolfo Castro,18, $150K are 3 guys who have been very impressive so far in their development.

  • This is exactly why we need to compete and spend larger $ in the international market. We never find good talent signing volume vs. quality. Oh wait, this guy sounds legit.

    • I was just going to take exception to that second sentence, lol.

    • Nice strawman you have there!

      The Pittsburgh Pirates have literally signed *hundreds* of failed Latin American prospects you haven’t even heard of since the last time one actually succeeded, so if *this* is what “success” looks like to you then at least state the extremely low bar you’re setting.

      • Boosts their local economy

      • Heh…then, he *recs* his own comment. Man, has he been coming at you lately and for no GD reason.

        • He’s cute, isn’t he?

        • Anyways, those of us interested in honest debate clearly understand that neither side’s argument is that their strategy *can’t* work. Of course you can find good IFA’s for cheap!

          The debate is about consistency. The ability to reliably produce Major League assets through one of the only means of cheap talent acquisition the Pirates have.

          And the overwhelming conclusion is that the Pirates have failed.

      • What an extraordinarily odd comment. Anyone that even casually follows this website has heard of most of the Latin American prospects including those that have failed. But I do like your little *stars*.

        • I subscribe to four baseball media services, spend an embarrassing amount of time reading about baseball, and don’t miss a single article PP writes.

          I couldn’t name more than half a dozen IFA signings from the last three years *combined*.

          • I was being half tongue-in-cheek, but I think PP reports most all their signings. I read most of your posts because I don’t subscribe to a bunch of services and I know you have some good baseball knowledge. And to be truthful, it doesn’t seem too hard to name more than 6 from the last 3 years. 3 are in the PP top 50 and several others like Apostel, Acuna, Iona, and Gift’s little brother might be knocking on the door.

    • A blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while

    • Michael De La Cruz sounded legit too.

  • Admittedly, other than what I read here I do not know much about Lolo – but man do I love the name! Hopefully, that also translates into real baseball skills.

    • It’s a nickname he has had for awhile that didn’t take long to catch on after he signed with the Pirates. Reminds me of the real story about how Dots Miller got his nickname (not the Honus Wagner fable)

  • Sounds like Harold Ramirez 2.0