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July 2 Signing Period


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Angels in on #27 prospect for the July 2 signing period, says Ben Badler of BA.


For the record this would be the first top 30 prospect internationally signed by the Angels in nearly a decade, I believe.




"27. Ricardo Sanchez, lhp, Venezuela
Born: April 11, 1997. Ht.: 5-10. Wt. 160. B-T: L-L.

At the 15U World Championship last August in Mexico, Cuba was undefeated entering the gold-medal game against Venezuela, including an 11-5 victory over Venezuela earlier in the tournament. Then Sanchez pitched seven innings and held the Cubans to two runs (one earned) while striking out six to lead Venezuela to a 10-2 victory and the gold.

As an undersized Venezuelan lefty with a good arm and erratic control, Sanchez reminds scouts of Rays lefthander Alex Torres. He throws his fastball at 87-90 mph and touches 91. He shows feel for a good curveball and will mix in a changeup. He has shown feel for pitching at times but he’s also prone to bouts of wildness. Even against Cuba, he walked six batters, hit three more and unleashed three wild pitches. He’s athletic and scouts like his delivery, so some think he just has a tendency to overthrow and will throw more strikes in time. His size isn’t ideal, but he has one of the better arms in Venezuela. Some sources say the Angels could be in the mix for Sanchez, who trains with Henderson Martinez.


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And all three were signed BEFORE the Dipoto regime began.  Once they took over and put their own guys down there, they've pursued a different type of player. 


I agree with what you're saying but at the same time, I think the whole size thing is overrated to an extent.


K-Rod, Pedro, Johan Santana..   None of them were physically imposing either.    Camilo Pascual? Mike Cuellar? Juan Marichal?  Dennis Martinez?   Luis Tiant, Bartolo Colon, and Fernando Valenzuela were fat asses, Dolf Luque was maybe 5'8" at best -- my Dad referred to him as a midget more than once.  .  Really, outside of King Felix, you don't find a lot of physically imposing Latino pitchers.    Freddy Garcia, that whackj-ob Zambrano were both imposing guys, and Livan Hernandez had some heft to him.  But really, the smaller guys were all better..   


Should the team only consider guys who look to have "the good face" too?


And this isn't meant to be dismissive towards anyone, it just seems as though where the typical thought process is to find the tall lanky guy that will put on weight and is projectable; historically, the Latin players haven't really fit into that mold.

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IP I agree with you that we shouldn't pigeonhole good pitchers into a category of those taller than 6'2.  There are benefits are drawbacks to each side of the argument.  Tall pitcher generally have a lot more moving parts to keep in check, which usually means they can be more inconsistent.  Yet at the same time, those long arms and legs often mean less stress on the shoulder, so they'll prove to be more durable in the long run.  Then the simple physical strength that accompanies such size make it more likely that a taller pitcher will throw harder.  


At the same time, shorter guys have less to deal with in terms of mechanics.  They just reach back and throw.  Research suggests that height may not have a lot to do with shoulder and elbow injuries.  Durability within the muscles and tendons can simply be something we are born with, but that's neither proven or debunked.  But undoubtedly when scouts are searching for physical projectibility (someone they could see developing into a major leaguer), 90% of them will write someone off for being shorter than 5'10 and playing anything but shortstop and second base.  They're looking for the Josh Hamilton's of the world, plus athleticism, strength, size, left handed.  


Even someone like Mike Trout was seen as raw, with an awkward short-armed swing.  It's an inexact science to say the least.  But personally, when I'm looking at a pitcher, unless he's blowing people away I'd be quicker to dismiss my findings on someone 5'10 versus 6'4.  Which I know is wrong because I'm not over 6'0 myself but then again I was never a pitcher. 

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But personally, when I'm looking at a pitcher, unless he's blowing people away I'd be quicker to dismiss my findings on someone 5'10 versus 6'4.  Which I know is wrong because I'm not over 6'0 myself but then again I was never a pitcher. 



Yeah, I don't really disagree -- I'd always take projectability ...  ALWAYS.   Plus there is the line about a guy throwing 90 in his teens flaming out and throwing 80 is his 20s, which for the smaller guys tends to happen more often than the taller guys (Weaver brothers being an exception it seems).   But I do wonder if the thought processes should be different with some of these Latino guys.  They tend to be more compact, with shorter movements as a whole.  I do think there is some truth to some of the old adages about taking a kid off a farm Vs a kid from the cities in part because the farm kid has typically been working the fields and so forth.    There is also the fact that the game is played a little differently -- particularly in places like Cuba where they like the guys that are flashy and acrobatic.. In many cases the players show a different type of athleticism.


The recent crop of players from Cuba just seem to be tremendous physical specimens

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Sickels thinks the Rangers may believe an international draft is coming soon so they've decided to accept the penalties.  If this is true I'd like to know exactly where the Rangers are getting their insider information and if MLB should be free to punish them for it.  Can't do insider trading on the stock market, why should they be allowed to get away with this?  (Again, only if true).

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