Just before Christmas, St. Louis Cardinals right-handed reliever Eduardo Sanchez suited up for Aragua in the Venezuelan Winter League. He pitched in three games before the regular season came to a close and continued into the playoffs.
The 21-year-old allowed just one run in three regular-season innings before spinning 7 2/3 scoreless frames in the round robin playoffs. Sanchez saved one game, fanned six, yielded two walks and allowed only two hits in the post-season.
Sanchez' original commitment was to pitch just one month, which ended on January 20. His request for an extension to remain active as Aragua continues their push toward the Caribbean Series was not granted by the Cardinals, reports liderendeportes.com.
Sanchez missed three months plus the 2011 post-season due to a shoulder problem. Cardinals pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to spring training in Jupiter, Fla. in 26 days, on February 18.
Became a Cardinal
Signed as a non-drafted free agent on December 26, 2005.
Did not make the opening day roster, but shined with St. Louis until suffering a strained right shoulder that kept him out for most of the final three months. Earned five saves and led the pen with a 1.80 ERA.
Began the season at Springfield, appearing in 24 games and was 11-for-13 in save opportunities before being promoted to Memphis on 6/24, where he was 3-for-3 in save opportunities. Ranked in the Top 10 of all Cardinals minor leaguers with 50 games pitched (9th) and 14 saves (8th). Pitched for Aragua in the Venezuelan Winter League. Added to the 40-man roster on November 16, 2010.
No other player rose through the ranks like Sanchez in 2009. Starting the year at Palm Beach, he translated a strong FSL debut into a promotion to Springfield. While in the Texas League, he took over as the team’s closer and struck out batters at a rate of 10.08 K/9. Posted a 2-1 record with 13 saves and a 2.28 ERA. Very impressive for a 20-year-old.
Eduardo appeared in 24 games, including making five starts for the Quad Cities River Bandits, posting an impressive record of 5-1 with a save and a 2.86 ERA, while holding opposing batters to a .209 batting average. He closed out the season in fine form, allowing only two runs in his final 10 appearances, spanning 14 innings, while walking four and striking out 13.
Sanchez earned his first win on July 29, 2006 against the VSL Tigers/Marlins.
The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com Top Prospect 2012: #7
The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com Top Prospect 2011: #4
All-Star Futures Game, World team: 2010
Texas League All-Star, mid-season: 2010
TCN/Scout.com Top Cardinals Prospect 2010: #6
TCN/Scout.com Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year: 2009
The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com Springfield Cardinals Reliever of the Year, 2009-10
TCN/Scout.com Cardinals Minor League Pitcher of the Month, August, 2009
Florida State League All-Star: 2009 (promoted to AA - did not play)
Scout.com Johnson City Reliever of the Year: 2007