Sanchez is in the final year of his contract (with an eight million dollar option for 2010) and really does only one thing well and that is hit for average. He has little to no power, doesn’t draw many walks, and doesn’t steal many bases. In fact the Giants already have a guy just like this at second base by the name of Juan Uribe. He does play solid defense, but at what price are you willing to pay for a guy like this?
Apparently San Francisco is willing to give up a a lot and by that I mean one of their most valued prospects in Tim Alderson. Alderson is just 20 years old and having a fine season in Double-A. In just his third professional season the 6’6 Alderson is posting a 3.53 FIP. His strikeouts per nine are down his year (5.70) but his control has been phenominal and his strikeout-to-walk ratio is a solid 3.29. His command is excellent and his strikeouts should increase as he further develops.
Last year the Giants challenged him by sending him straight to Advanced-A completely skipping over Low-A. He responded with a spectacular 2.64 FIP (major league equivalent 3.76).
He features a low-90s fast ball, a change-up and his curve ball could develop into a plus major league pitch. Although his delivery is considered to be unconventional, his success is hard to argue with and it seems to work well for him.
Alderson is a prospect with significant upside and the Giants were foolish to give him up so easily. Conversely, the Pirates were smart to trade Sanchez while he still had value and pick up the best pitching prospect swapped so far this year.