Went back and searched my posts for every mention of the word “sleeper” until the All-Star Break. So, if I said, “(player’s name) was going to be a 2022 fantasy baseball sleeper,” I made note of it with a slash. By the time, I was done, well, put the Jesus Sanchez slashes on a tree, and it would look like Tom Hanks in Castaway. It was like this over the last few months of the season, “I gotta write a 2022 fantasy baseball sleeper for Jesus Sanchez,” “How long until I can write a 2022 fantasy baseball sleeper for Jesus Sanchez?” “Have I written a Jesus Sanchez 2022 fantasy baseball sleeper or have I just mentioned it so much that it feels like I’ve written it already?” By the time I was done searching three months of daily roundups, it felt like Jesus Sanchez wasn’t a 2022 fantasy baseball sleeper anymore, but ya know what? Eff that, bros, four sisters and one sista! I’m highlighting this em-effer!
So, guess what, snitches? We’re done with the fantasy baseball rookies and onto the 2022 fantasy baseball sleepers! Can I get a what-WHAT?! No, the 2nd “what” is louder, not from the standing position. That’s what caps mean: louder. You thought caps meant it was said while wearing a baseball cap? You have a malfunctioning brain. Okay, forget it! I’m moving on! Across two levels of baseball last year, Jesus Sanchez went 24/1 with a .348 average in Triple-A (37 games) and a .251 average in the majors (64 games). I separated the averages for the two levels rather than average the, uh, averages together because: I’m lazy. Okay, also, because Triple-A was an insanely high BABIP and he’s not a .348 hitter. If you were to combine his Triple-A and majors numbers, I’d say he went 24/1/.251. That’s what he’s closer to. Well, that and God himself! Jesus, take the steering wheel! Nah, seriously, I need both hands to try to dig around for this last boba in my drink. *tires screech, car flies off a cliff* So, what can we expect from Jesus Sanchez for 2022 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
Psyche! Before we get into the Jesus Sanchez sleeper post, just wanted to announce that I’ve begun to roll out my 2022 fantasy baseball rankings on our Patreon. It’s an early Hannukah miracle! Well, late Hanukah miracle this year. The Jews should really decide on one day to start Hanukah each year, and stick with it. It’s better for branding. Anyway II, the Jesus Sanchez sleeper:
I love these homers, so I’m just gonna share them. The first two are just such easy oppo tacos makes me want to get a Doritos Loco taco and crap for the next two days:
— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) September 15, 2021
That one you can kinda understand. He got all of it the other way. Watch this one now:
— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) September 15, 2021
That’s kinda ridiculous. That homer makes me think 40 homers is possible for Jesus Sanchez. That should be a pop-up to left. Okay, now for the homer that shows just how powerful he is:
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) September 12, 2021
Read the tweet, “Previous long was a 454-foot homer Giancarlo Stanton hit.” That’s what kind of power Jesus Sanchez has. Jesus, indeed.
On Statcast, Jesus Sanchez had a top 10% Max Exit Velo at 113.9 MPH. His average home run distance was 417 feet, that’s 10th best in the league. His barrels per plate appearance was 7.6%, which was 62nd in the league, between Ryan Mountcastle and Nick Castellanos. (Sample sizes are different — that’s what she said derisively! — so take with a grain of salt. Sample sizes are set at 150 batted ball events to include him. Still, Jesus Sanchez was in some pretty heady company. All of this points to a guy who is going to hit a lot of homers. Incredibly, he was doing all of this with a 8.7 Launch Angle. Not awful, but flatter than I would’ve guessed. That Launch Angle led to a 34% fly ball rate. In 500 ABs, that would lead to 137 fly balls. His HR/FB% was 27.5% that gives him 37 homers. That’s without me doing any fudging at all. Step back and fudge it up. I love him! His fly ball rate was higher in Triple-A and his Launch Angle should be more pronounced. Pronunciation key: Yum-mo. If he gets 500 ABs with a 39% fly ball rate, then that’s around 41 homers. As they say to nuns, are you ready to hitch your ride to Jesus? I am!
So, obviously there’s no negatives here, we all know now why everyone prays to Jesus, let’s all sing Kumbayah! *intern whispers in my ear* His strikeout rate was what?! Judas Priest! Okay, Jesus Sanchez’s 31.1% K% last year is concerning, but it was 18.7% in Triple-A. Do I think it gets that low in less than a full year of major league whose-he-whats-is? No. It might hover around 27-29%, but that’s completely doable from a batting average standpoint with neutral BABIP, because he hits the ball so hard. As mentioned on his Max Exit Velo above, and his barrels, in general, he’s not going to hit a lot of dinky rollers to 2nd base. Giancarlo was mentioned above, and I included him on purpose. Not because they came up with the same team, but Sanchez can hit screamers and the power is so effortless. .245 feels neutral, but a high BABIP could happen hitting the ball that hard. As with anything, there’s plusses and minuses: Think a range of .235 to .265, so a “bad” average is on the board as a possibility, but a passable average is way more possible. Finally, because you might consider it, Jesus has no split concerns. I don’t expect he platoons, but, with the addition of Avisail, I tamped down my at-bat projections a tad. Not much, but better to be safe than sorry, which is why I let Jesus take the wheel. For 2022, I’ll give Jesus Sanchez projections of 69/28/78/.253/2 in 479 ABs with a chance for much more.