Anibal Sanchez

Age 36 SP
  • Born 02/27/1984
  • Bats R
  • Team: Washington Nationals
2019 Statistics
2020 Prediction
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27.8% Thrown 82.1 MPH 24.4 CSW%
5.9% Thrown 76.8 MPH 46.5 CSW%
25.5% Thrown 87.7 MPH 24.3 CSW%
2.9% Thrown 83.0 MPH 16.2 CSW%

Thrown almost 28% of the time in 2019, Sanchez’s changeup averages 82 mph and has significant arm side depth and run. He generated a GB% of 52.9% in 2019, which is down from 59.6% in 2018 but still above his career average of 50.6%. Hitters hit .237/.279/.409 off the pitch in 2019, which is up from the .139/.202/.200 stat line the pitch generated in 2018. However, this is likely caused by a higher BABIP, as it increased to .278 from .202 in 2018.

GIF made by Austin Bristow II. Blurb written by Zach Lindgren

Sanchez’ curveball was easily his worst pitch in 2019 and thankfully he only used it 6% of the time. Featuring some of the lowest spin-rates for curveballs, he used it mostly as a surprise pitch to start an at-bat.

GIF made by NP. Blurb written by Jamie Sayer

Sanchez’s cutter is approximately 3 mph slower than his four-seam, but has good glove side cut and very tight spin. Sanchez threw the pitch over 25% of the time and generated a K% of 19.7%, which is lower than his career average of 22.4%. Despite this, the pitch was effective as hitters hit only .220/.285/.374 with a WRC+ of only 80. Look for Sanchez to continue to increase the usage of his cutter in 2020, especially as he continues to age and potentially loses mph on his four-seam.

GIF made by Austin Bristow II. Blurb written by Zach Lindgren

Lightly used in 2019, Sanchez only threw his slider 2.86% of the time. The pitch is very similar to a slower version of his cutter, with slightly more horizontal break. Hitters hit .259/.310/.481 off the pitch in 2019 and it is likely Sanchez will focus more on his other pitches for 2020.

GIF made by Austin Bristow II. Blurb written by Zach Lindgren
32.9% Thrown 90.4 MPH
24.8% Thrown 81.0 MPH
20.2% Thrown 88.1 MPH
9.3% Thrown 77.9 MPH
7.9% Thrown 91.1 MPH
4.9% Thrown 83.3 MPH

The most-used pitch in Sanchez’s repertoire in 2018 at 32.91%, the fastball averaged 90.4 mph. A 44% fly-ball rate coupled with a 15% HR/FB rate contributed to a .511 slugging percentage against. Overall, it was worth a -1.1 pVal.

Thrown about 24.82% of the time, Sanchez’s changeup was a big part of his success in 2018. It featured an impressive 20.9% swinging-strike rate and just a 64.8% contact rate against, which when added to a quality 59.6% ground-ball rate led to a .139 batting average against. The result was a dominant pitch that was worth a 15.1 pVal.

A big part of Sanchez’s resurgence in 2018, the cutter quickly became a major weapon for him with a 20% usage rate, which is much higher than previous years. It was worth an impressive 12.4 pVal thanks to a .197/.238/.318 slash line against the pitch. Peripheral-wise though, that success may not be sustainable. It featured a mediocre 82.8% contact rate against without anything notable on the batted ball front. Opposing hitters just couldn’t square it up as evidenced by a .240 BABIP against.

Sanchez’s curveball performed pretty well outside the zone in 2018 with just a 56.5 O-Contact rate but got hit when thrown inside the strike zone as evidenced by an 87.9% Z-contact rate. The result was a.346 batting average against and a .577 slugging percentage against.

The sinker was Sanchez’s worst pitch in 2018 in terms of pVal with a rough -4.4 mark. It failed to miss bats with an 88.9% contact rate against, and when coupled with a .412 BABIP against the pitch, the result was a poor .318/.400/.455 slash line against the pitch.

The slider was Sanchez’s sixth-most used pitch in 2018 with just a 4.89% usage rate, and that was likely a good thing as it did not perform well. A mediocre 8.9% swinging-strike rate coupled with an elevated 33.3% HR/FB rate led to a .667 slugging percentage against and a -2.3 pVal.

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