Position: Catcher Height: 5-11 Weight: 185
Born: 10/25/1980 Bats: Right Throws: Right
Sanchez has been a part of the Tigers organization since he was a 17-year old catcher in the Dominican Summer League in 1998. After spending three seasons in the DSL, in only one of which he showed any progress, Sanchez came state-side to test his skills further. Heading into the 2004 season, Sanchez had compiled a very weak minor league track record, with the only bright spot being solid strike zone judgment. Danilo had demonstrated little power and an inability to hit for average. The 2004 season provided some promise for Sanchez. Despite being old for the Midwest League, Sanchez' numbers were still mildly impressive, posting a .294/.355/.443 line. Danilo's strike zone judgment waned during the 2004 campaign, in his first exposure to even slightly more advanced pitchers. The 2005 season saw Sanchez prove his progress was for real, posting a .284/.361/.524 line. Sanchez improved as the season move along, and was named Florida State League Offensive Player of the Week during the season's final week.
Despite his athletic frame, Sanchez's defense is merely average. He has a solid arm, but his mechanics are a bit slow, and his footwork is sloppy. Despite his uninspiring arm strength, he is accurate and can throw out runners. Sanchez has finally started to develop his complete offensive package. He's still controlling the strike zone well, improving his on base abilities in each of the past three seasons. Danilo has outstanding hand-eye coordination and as a result, rarely strikes out. His power has finally started to come alive as his slugging percentage and homerun totals can attest to. He has the ability to be a perennial power threat should he continue to make strides. Sanchez is a little slow afoot, but has enough instincts to be a threat when he puts the ball in the gaps. While is appearance and total package may not elicit great praise, Sanchez is a very good offensive catching prospect, and his stick will carry him through the upper reaches. With his recent progress, it will be no surprise to see him continue to hit at AA.
Performance Level Team AB AVG 2B HR RBI SO BB OBP% SLG% A+
Sanchez has not experienced any significant injuries to this point.
With a starting spot at Erie in his sights for 2006, Sanchez will look to separate himself further as the top catching prospect in the system. The Tigers must have some players step forward within the system as Pudge no only ages, but nears the end of his contract in 2007. With another very good year at the plate, Sanchez could start making noise as a potential replacement. Few questions remain about Sanchez's offensive potential, but his defense and age are still mounting concerns. If he can prove adequate with his receiving skills and his ability to command the game and his pitchers, he could up his stock even further. Look for Danilo's power numbers to spike even more in the hitter friendly confines at Erie, and as a result, he'll get more significant attention.
Mark Anderson covers the Tigers' minor league system and all of minor league baseball for TigsTown.com. He can be reached at Mark@TigsTown.com.