Results tagged ‘ Carlos Sanchez ’
I am more than halfway through with our Defensive Gems series on MiLB.com. In case you are unfamiliar with it, here is the stock copy we print at the beginning of every edition:
As documentarian Ken Burns noted, baseball is the one game in which the defense — not the offense — possesses the ball. With this in mind, MiLB.com continues its “Defensive Gems” series. Over the next nine weeks, we will feature a top prospect at each position who also happens to be an elite defender. In deciding which players to focus on, six scouting directors were polled and extensive research was conducted…
Here are the five stories of the nine total that are completed: Click on the player’s name to be taken to the story:
|POS||Subjects with story links|
|C||Austin Hedges (SD: A pupil of Brad Ausmus)|
|2B||Carlos Sanchez (CWS: A good defender at three positions)|
|3B||Mike Olt (TEX: A slow-roller expert with soft hands)|
|SS||Francisco Lindor (CLE: A natural ballplayer that is “Cano-ish”)|
|CF||Mason Williams (NYY: A gifted athlete making acrobatic plays)|
Interview Outtakes: White Sox Prospect Carlos Sanchez Answers Nine Questions about Playing Three Infield Positions
MiLB.com will publish the fifth part of my nine-part series on top-ranked prospects who are also top-rated defenders on Tuesday morning. The piece will focus on versatile White Sox infielder Carlos Sanchez (bio, stats here), the fifth-ranked second base prospect in all of baseball. In terms of interview extras — answers that didn’t make it into the story but are significant nonetheless — see below. Enjoy.
- On what position he played growing up: “I was always a shortstop.”
On his best skill as an infielder: “I feel like turning a double play — the turn — has always been my strongest skill playing the infield.”
- On what he is improving upon in big league camp: “Now playing third base, I have had to learn some things to help me with my range, help me with my reaction time. I have learned how to stand up taller when playing the position and how to work on my range. I have had to work on the last couple weeks some mechanics.”
- On how he has improved as a defender: “I just try to be really attentive to the direction and advice that coaches give me. But more than anything, it’s the experience that I have had at every level and now the experience playing behind a guy like Brent Morel and seeing how they go about their business and play the position — more so than anything, that experience is what has helped me get better.”
Prospect Q&A: White Sox SS Marcus Semien on Going to Birmingham, Playing with Carlos Sanchez, Hitting off Alex Meyer
Pre: 45 G — .245/.316/.410 — 45 Ks in 173 ABS — 1 SB
Post: 62 G — .290/.392/.514 — 52 Ks in 245 ABS — 10 SB
I caught up with Semien — a 2011 sixth-round draftee and now a 22-year-old shortstop that’s a non-40-man roster invitee rubbing elbows with Chicago’s mainstays in Arizona — this afternoon over the phone. Here is some of our quick conversation.
On his first big league camp: “It’s been awesome. It’s great to be around guys I grew up watching play. I have always loved watching baseball since I was a little kid, and it’s pretty awesome to be around them. I’ve been here about 10 days now, and I’m feeling more comfortable. And on the Minor League season, I’m just trying to get my work in, getting ready for the season and also watch these big league guys and learn everything I can. The first couple days, I was taking ground balls at short with Angel Sanchez and literally just watching him has helped me. I haven’t gotten a chance to be on the same field as Alexei [Ramirez] or [Gordon] Beckham yet, but Angel has been really helpful. He’s played a lot of years, so he’s got a lot of knowledge. I’m just trying to be more of a sponge.”
On what he’s using Spring Training to work on: “I want to put the ball in play a little bit more and use my speed, steal more bases. Second half of last year, I started running more, and I’d like to carry that on to this year. In general, the second half [of 2012] was a lot better than the first half for, so I want to keep that going.”
On his goals this season: “First goal is to make the [Double-A] Birmingham team. Secondly, just cut down the errors wherever I can [24 in 107 games in '12] and make sure that my pitchers feel very confident with me behind them. Offensively, I want to continue what I did in the second half, drive the ball more.”
On No. 4 White Sox prospect Carlos Sanchez, whom Semien has shared SS/2B duties the past two seasons: “What I love about him on defense is he’s got great feet. He keeps his feet moving, and also another thing: A ball that is a tougher ball to read [where] you might have to drive, he usually catches it. It’s real tough as an infielder to make those diving plays and actually secure the catch. A lot of times, I’ll dive and just miss it, or it will pop out of my glove or something. I’ve noticed I’ve had some — not issues — but I need to practice more on that, and he’s very good at that.”
On playing with Sanchez at Class A Advanced Winston-Salem in 2012: “Shoot, he was awesome at both [shortstop and second base]. I had a little injury, and he was playing short full-time, and I got a chance to sit back on watch him play short, and he was awesome: great range, great arm, great instincts — pretty much everything you want in a middle infielder. When you can have two guys up the middle who are interchangeable, it’s always a plus. We try to push each other to get the best out of each other. Whether I am playing short and he’s at second, or I’m at second and he’s at short, we try to play as best as we can together when the game starts.”
On the best pitcher he’s faced in the Minor Leagues: “Last year, I had a pretty tough game [0-for-3 with three strikeouts] against Alex Meyer from [Class A Advanced] Potomac [on Aug. 12]. He’s probably one of the better ones I have seen. [With Meyer's height, 6'9''], I was not able to pick up the ball. One of worst games of the year was against him. He throws hard and has a good slider.”
Squeezed Out … of the Infield: Are Astros, Giants, D-backs and Red Sox Bridging to/Blocking Prospects?
Editor’s note: This is the second part of a three-part offseason series, “Squeezed Out.” Part one can be read here. For more information on the players mentioned below, click on the linked, underlined text.
MLB veterans: 1B Carlos Pena (signed through 2013)
MiLB prospects: 1B Jonathan Singleton (has played AA-ball)
Bridging/Blocking: This is a clear bridging arrangement. Singleton, 21, hit 21 homers in his first Texas League season last year. He should hit for average and power in the Majors while striking out his fair share. He’ll never be as good defensively as stopgap Pena, but an NL Central exec recently told me that he thinks Singleton is an above-average defender and moves well for being a 235-pounder. He is MLB.com’s No. 25 overall prospect.
MLB veterans: 2B Marco Scutaro (signed through 2015)
MiLB prospects: 2B/SS Joe Panik (has played High-A-ball)
Bridging to/Blocking: Depending on how fast Panik moves through Double-A and Triple-A — and I think he’ll move fast — this is a blocking. Forget the fact that the Giants overpaid to keep the 37-year-old Scutaro. Panik, at 22 is very polished and is probably already as good as a defender as Scutaro. He is still playing shortstop in the Minors but will switch to second long-term with Brandon Crawford entrenched there in San Francisco. It would have been wiser to sign a veteran second baseman to a one- or two-year deal.
MLB veterans: 3B Eric Chavez (signed through 2013)
MiLB prospects: 3B Matt Davidson (has played AA-ball)
Bridging to/Blocking: A smart bridging here. The D-backs, who could also acquire young third baseman Mike Olt from the Rangers later this winter, appear set on the hot corner for the next couple seasons. The lefty-hitting Chavez and righty-hitting Chris Johnson, who was acquired last season from the Astros, will split time there until Davidson is ready to go. Davidson excelled at Double-A in 2012, hitting 23 homers, and will begin next spring at Triple-A Reno. He is MLB.com’s No. 41 overall prospect.
MLB veterans: SS Stephen Drew (signed through 2013)
MiLB prospects: SS Jose Iglesias (has played in Majors)
Bridging to/Blocking: This one can be seen two ways. If you think Iglesias can be an everyday shortstop in the Majors, you’ll see this is a clear blocking. If you’re in the Iglesias-needs-more-seasoning-at-Triple-A-camp, this is more of a simple bridging. I am not sure what to make of Iglesias, who has a great glove but suspect bat. But consider that he turns 23 on Saturday. Ostensibly, he has time to develop his swing. Drew gives him that time, so we’ll call it a bridging.
MLB veterans: SS Yunel Escobar (traded for, signed through 2015)
MiLB prospects: SS Hak-Ju Lee (has played AA-ball)
Bridging/Blocking: This is a bridging, and a shrewd one at that. Escobar, acquired from the Blue Jays, gives Tampa Bay a talented cost-effective option (he has club options in ’14 and ’15) until Lee is ready. The 22-year-old South Korean is an exceptional defender but has work to do on his swing. He is MLB.com’s No. 32 overall prospect.
MLB veterans: 3B Michael Young (traded for, signed through 2013)
MiLB prospects: 3B Cody Asche (has played AA-ball)
Bridging/Blocking: This is also a bridging arrangement, though the Phils may need another stopgap to fill the space between Young’s exit next fall and Ashce’s entrance; Asche, featured recently in Lost and Found, is at least a year — and probably two years — from the bigs.