Tony Sanchez was taken fourth overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates this past June. He was a freshman at Boston College while I was a senior there and was kind enough to do a little Q & A with Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove. If you want to check out some more about Sanchez please check out this from The Baseball Anayslts, this piece from Baseball Prospectus, and this piece from BuccoFans.com. Here’s what Sanchez has to say about the effectiveness of the slide step, calling pitches, and the Eagles. Many thanks to Tony for taking the time.
FBHS: What do you believe is the best way to prevent runs: utilizing the slide step and giving the catcher a better chance to throw out base-stealers or letting the pitcher throw with more power and focus on the pitch?
TS: In my opinion and considering the position I play, I feel like the best way to prevent runs is to definitely utilize the slide step. Giving a catcher a better chance to control the running game gives your team an advantage that’s extremely tough to overcome.
FBHS: I know you are more focused on defense at this point, but fantasy baseball geeks like myself are more curious about the offense. Has anyone in the Pirates organization given you any instruction in terms of how many pitches they want you to see, the approach you should take on the first pitch of an at-bat, drawing walks, etc. Or do they give you the freedom to trust the approach you took while at Boston College?
TS: I’ve definitely learned a lot about my approach in my first year of pro ball and I have definitely made some tweaks, but for the most part, during my first summer I kept the same approach I had at BC.
FBHS: Before you got to college, I think you would claim that you were a good eater. At BC, that changed to a disciplined eater. How much different is your daily routine now as a professional versus last year at this time when you were still in amateur?
TS: It’s completely different. Now that I’m a pro, I have a lot of responsibility and I owe it to myself and the Pirates organization to keep myself in the best shape I can be in, even during the offseason.
FBHS: One of the best places to go to find the future in Major League Baseball is Cape Cod during the summer (there were 207 former Cape Cod players in MLB in 2008). You were a part of that a few summers ago, where does this experience rank in your baseball career so far?
TS: My summer in the cape ranks pretty high in my baseball memories. That was a make or break summer for me and the summer I had really got my name on peoples radars. I was just fortunate to have the opportunity to play there and I tried to make the most out of that opportunity.
FBHS: Prior to being drafted you didn’t have too much experience calling pitches, now that you have been calling pitches since June how comfortable do you feel doing it?
TS: I’m definitely getting better at it and I’m feeling more and more comfortable as I learn new things everyday. But so far so good. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but my efforts paid off while I was catching in the playoffs for our high A team and I had never played with these guys before, but what I had learned from calling pitches before made It a lot easier.
FBHS: Having grown up in Miami where the Marlins won two world championships and being in Boston when the Red Sox won in 2007, you have been a part of watching cities rejoice. The two other teams wearing black and gold in Pittsburgh are defending champions of their sports, but Pirate fans that are your age have no recollection of a playoff game in Pittsburgh. What would it mean to you to help bring the Pirates back to October baseball?
TS: That would be an absolute honor and a tribute to the talent that we have in our system. The Pirates have struggled a bit as of late but the influx of talent gets deeper and deeper and one day it will be our turn to shine.
FBHS: Gotta get you out on this note. The BC football team is 3-2 in the ACC right now and tied with Clemson atop the Atlantic division. Can they get back to the ACC Championship for a third straight year?
TS: The boys are grinding, they’re going to do whatever it takes to push themselves to get to that championship but it isn’t going to be easy. They have a lot to play for this year, and are doing alright so far. But I really want them to have a strong second half and give themselves a shot to play for the title.
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