ALI SANCHEZ, CATCHER
|Born: January 20, 1997
Signed: Int’l Free Agent, 2013 (Mets)
How Acquired: Waiver Claim (from Tigers)
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|The Mets paid Sanchez a large bonus to sign out of Venezuela. He’s a strong defensive catcher with a very suspect bat. He’s generally done a reasonable job of making contact, but scouts give him a 20 grade for power. He rates very highly for blocking and framing skills, and has usually had caught-stealing percentages above 40%. Due to the weak hitting, he made slow progress through the minors and has only a few games of major league experience. The Pirates claimed him off waivers.
Sanchez debuted in the DSL and hit well. He also threw out 51% of base stealers. Baseball America ranked him 27th in the Mets’ system.
In rookie ball, Sanchez hit for average but little power, and his walk rate dropped. BA moved him up to 15th in the system on the strength of rave reviews for his defense.
The Mets continued moving Sanchez very slowly, moving him up just to the New York-Penn League. He struggled badly at the plate, leading BA to drop him to 27th in the system.
Sanchez finally made it to full season ball, where he hit very much like the year before. A broken hamate cost him the month of August. BA ranked him 27th in the system again.
The Mets sent Sanchez back to low A, then promoted him at mid-season. His hitting picked up some, mainly in the form of showing some power for the first time. He walked very little, although he also struck out very little. Oddly, BA dropped him off the Mets’ prospect list.
The Mets moved Sanchez up to AA and he hit reasonably well, although with no power. BA moved him back to his accustomed spot at 27th on the Mets’ prospect list. The Mets added him to the roster after the season.
During the pandemic season, Sanchez made his major league debut.
Shortly before the season, the Mets designated Sanchez for assignment, then sent him to St. Louis for cash. He spent the season in AAA, except for two games in the majors. He made some progress at the plate, hitting for a little power.
The Cards sent Sanchez back to AAA, then designated him for assignment. The Tigers claimed him and he spent the rest of the season with their AAA affiliate. He continued to hit better, showing decent power and increasing his walk rate. His K rate increased sharply. Detroit waived him after the season and the Pirates claimed him.
The Pirates dropped Jose Godoy when they acquired Sanchez. Along with Jason Delay and Tyler Heineman, the move boosted their 40-man roster from three AAA-level depth catchers and no others to . . . three AAA-level depth catchers and no others. Sanchez can’t be sent to AAA because he has no options left. The Pirates later got Delay through waivers and released Heineman, so they seem fairly likely to hang onto Sanchez for now.
|2023: Major League Minimum
|Signing Bonus: $690,000
MiLB Debut: 2014
MLB Debut: 8/10/2020
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2028
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 11/20/2019
Options Remaining: 0 (USED: 2020, 2021, 2022)
MLB Service Time: 0.092
|July 2, 2013: Signed as an international free agent by the New York Mets.
November 20, 2019: Contract purchased by the New York Mets.
February 10, 2021: Designated for assignment by the New York Mets.
February 12, 2021: Traded by the New York Mets to the St. Louis Cardinals for cash considerations.
June 15, 2022: Designated for assignment by the St. Louis Cardinals.
June 18, 2022: Claimed off waivers from the St. Louis Cardinals by the Detroit Tigers.
October 14, 2022: Designated for assignment by the Detroit Tigers.
October 18, 2022: Claimed off waivers from the Detroit Tigers by the Pittsburgh Pirates.