Pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez cried when he learned the Phillies had traded him


CLEVELAND — Alec Bohm and Sixto Sanchez were teammates for a day in Major League Baseball’s Futures Game on Sunday.

Had circumstances been different, they might have been teammates for a lot longer than that.

A year ago at this time, Bohm and Sanchez were building blocks in the Phillies’ farm system. Bohm remains and is currently playing at Double A Reading.

Sanchez is also in Double A, but as a member of the Miami Marlins organization. The Phillies traded him, catcher Jorge Alfaro and minor-league pitcher Will Stewart for catcher J.T. Realmuto in February.

Sanchez had initially signed with the Phillies as a 16-year-old in the Dominican Republic in 2015 and the organization was a huge part of his life.

When Phillies front office man Jorge Velandia called to tell him he’d been traded, Sanchez became very emotional.

“It was a little bit difficult, but it wasn’t my decision,” Sanchez said in Spanish. “In the moment, I even cried. 

“I was really surprised. I would have never imagined that they would have traded me. I wasn’t prepared for it. Once I came to terms with it, I said, ‘OK. I’m traded now and I’m going to work hard.’ “

Sanchez missed much of last season with an elbow injury in the Phillies’ system. That was one of the reasons he lost his untouchable status.

The Marlins went slowly with him out of the gate this season, but he is now at Double A Jacksonville, where he is 3-4 with a 3.88 ERA in 10 starts. He still has that great control, just 12 walks to go with 58 strikeouts in 55 2/3 innings.

Sanchez is still a babe. He won’t turn 21 until July 29. If he continues to develop, the Phillies will see a lot of him in the National League East in years to come.

“Honestly, I would really like to pitch against them,” he said.

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