This Week, the Atlanta Bullpen Braves Minor League Player Spotlight, is shining on Rome Braves starting first baseman, Edison Sanchez.
Edison Enrique Sanchez was born in Caracas, Venezuela, on November 1st, 1990. He is 6’4″, 195 pounds and projects into the 220 pound range when full grown.
Sanchez began playing professional baseball when he was 17, playing for the Dominican Summer League Braves in 2008. Sanchez played one more season with the DSL Braves in 2009, where he earned All-Star honors mid-season.
Sanchez came to the United States to begin his MiLB career with the Gulf Coast League Braves in 2010, batting .236, with 1 HR and 11 runs batted in. After his season with the GCL Braves, Sanchez was promoted to High Level Rookie with the Danville Braves.
In 2012, Sanchez made the jump to the Rome Braves for his first full season professional stint. He played in 31 games, batting .180, with 0 HR and 7 RBI. After those 31 games, Sanchez was sent back to Danville, where he rebounded well after his initial struggles in Single A. Sanchez batted .256, with 5 HR and 23 RBI. This good play, along with excellent play in Spring Training, earned Sanchez the starting job at first base for the Rome Braves, coming into the 2013 season.
After only 11 games, Sanchez was injured when he fouled a ball off his ankle and was unable to run down the line after he put the ball in play. He ended up on crutches and was placed on the disabled list.
When Sanchez was able to play, he was sent to Extended Spring Training to work his injured ankle back to its full strength. Once Sanchez was able to play consistently with little or no pain, he was recalled to Rome on June 21st. Since his return, Sanchez has been healthy and has played well, batting .242 with 1 HR and 4 RBI while only striking out 8 times in 37 AB.
An interesting fact about Edison Sanchez is that he has changed positions multiple times in his professional career. In his first two professional seasons with the DSL Braves, Sanchez was a third baseman. In 2010, with the GCL Braves, he played both first Base and third Base. With Danville in 2011, the only position he played was first base.
Between Danville and Rome in 2012, Sanchez played 68 games in left field, while only playing two games at first base. This season with Rome, Sanchez has played first base primarily, but has also been a designated hitter and played one game in left field. Throughout all these position changes, however, Sanchez has been very consistent with his defensive play, only making 33 errors in his 6 professional seasons.
Sanchez has performed well in the 20 games he has played in with the Rome Braves this season. He has played much better in State Mutual Stadium, home of the Rome Braves. At home Sanchez is hitting .297 with a .381 OBP, while on the road, he has batted .200, with a .194 OBP.
Although Edison Sanchez has had a rough go so far this season dealing with his ankle injury, he has persevered and has continued to play well. He has been very helpful to the Rome Braves, as the team fights within the competitive South Atlantic League. With more consistent play, Sanchez can be expected to be promoted to the High A Lynchburg Hillcats at some point in not too distant future.