How do we know 2021 is going to be like no season ever after the season we just lived through and by ‘season’ I mean two months of games? Where do we begin? How about: Sixto Sanchez has 39 IP thrown in the major leagues (regular season), is a contender for the NL Rookie of the Year award and still eligible for that award in 2021. Is that right? Am I losing my mind or is that the case? By the way, I’m not being facetious. “Losing my mind” is definitely a possibility. *does some light research for five hours that covers everything from rookie eligibility for 2021 to whatever happened to Shannon Whirry* So, Sixto Sanchez does appear to be a rookie still (and Randy Arozarena, for that matter, which is hilarious too). Why does this matter? Because that’s how I decide on which players to write up in the 2021 rookies for fantasy baseball. Well, like everything else with Major League Baseball, they’ve made it impentratable for fans. Instead of saying you can’t win the ROY award twice, they said, “…” Well, do you really want to know? You know MLB makes everything impossible to understand, right? Okay, fine, but I warned you. Any players who accrued more than 45 days on an active roster during the 2020 season or previous seasons prior to September 1st will no longer be considered a rookie. MLB wants me to check player’s call-up dates and count calendar days? Haha, yeah, okay, you’re dumb. That ain’t happening. Also, by the way, Sixto Sanchez is still eligible for the ROY award in both 2020 and 2021, if he doesn’t win it this year. Not joking. So, MLB may be stupid, but I’m going over rookies for this series with old eligibility requirements — 130 ABs or 50 IP in the majors. That is a long way to tell you a clerical situation. Any hoo! Sixto Sanchez! Yes! Each year I open the rookie series with the rookie who I think will be the most highly ranked rookie in the upcoming year. For 2021, that feels more difficult to pinpoint than previous years. I did think about other guys for the coveted first rookie spot in 2021, and, as mentioned in my Randy Arozarena fantasy, I’m split on him and Sixto, as the top 2021 rookie. Today, I’m going Sixto Mode! *does robot, gets stuck bent over, screams for Cougs to oil my joints* (By the way, I couldn’t find any up-to-date information on Shannon Whirry, hope she’s well!) So, what can we expect from Sixto Sanchez for 2021 fantasy baseball?
First, I want you to think of Sour Patch Kids, did that make you salivate? No? Hmm, I heard that’s how minds work. Does this make you salivate:
Sixto. Hundo. ? pic.twitter.com/RAtyMMv3O5
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 13, 2020
What about this:
Sixto vs. Pedro, Leg Whips. pic.twitter.com/JqIAfgbTk0
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 9, 2020
Cougs, hold onto that oil, it’s horny time. Okay, now it’s time to inject a little bit of reality into our fantasy. In 39 IP, he had a 7.6 K/9, 2.5 BB/9. Better in the postseason, but that wasn’t a real sample size, and neither is 39 IP. That 100 MPH fastball isn’t translating to high strikeouts, and not just in the majors. In Double-A, he had a 8.5 K/9 and that was about as high as it had been since he came over in the Jerry Tomato Realmuto trade with the Phillies. The command looks elite, so if he’s a 8.5 K/9 with a 1-anything walk rate, that plays in any league. The hope, I believe, is his strikeouts will only continue to grow as he learns how to pitch. He is, after all, only 22 years old. Sixto passes the smell test with flying colors. He passes the eye test with the highest of marks. He doesn’t pass the written exam that has a lot of incompletes. Could this be why the Phils traded him away? Prolly unfair to put that on him. Phils wanted the top catcher in baseball and it cost them a top pitching prospect. Maybe that’s what makes Sixto special. More incompletes there. For me, Sixto is 100% want, but 100% unsure if the price will be too expensive in 2021 drafts. He worked off four pitches last year, but only really dominated with the change (though that’s being fed by the ridiculous fastball). Another incomplete there, too. Stupid sample sizes. Too hard to say. I wanted to say, “I’m drafting Sixto in every league,” and maybe I will, but that will come down to his draft price more than him. Again, I’m split, and incomplete. Another year under his belt would complete the picture. For 2021, I’ll give Sixto Sanchez projections of 8-5/3.31/1.12/101 in 105 IP with a chance for more.