Frederick Phillip "Freddy" Sanchez, Jr. (born December 21, 1977, in Hollywood, California) is an infielder in Major League Baseball for the San Francisco Giants. Since 2002, Sanchez has played for the Boston Red Sox (2002-2003), Pittsburgh Pirates (2004-2009) and the San Francisco Giants (2009-present). He bats and throws right-handed.
High school and collegeEdit
Sanchez graduated in 1996 from Burbank High School in Burbank, California, where he was a consistent three-year varsity player. In his senior year he was named MVP of the talent-filled foothill league of the CIF. He also starred in the Daily News Bernie Milligan All-Star Game, where he earned MVP honors. While in high school, he played on the same summer league team as former teammate Jack Wilson.
His success in high school was nothing short of miraculous. Sanchez was born with a severely pigeon-toed left foot and a club right foot, and his parents had received a medical diagnosis that he might never walk. He underwent surgery to correct his foot problems at 13 months, and then had to undergo years of physical therapy before he could walk properly.
He was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 30th round of the first year player draft, but opted not to sign. Sanchez went to Glendale Community College for two years, where he led the team to a co-championship in the Western State Conference, which was also the college's first playoff appearance since 1981. He transferred to Dallas Baptist University as a Junior, where he played in the NAIA College World Series. In his senior year, he transferred to Oklahoma City University in 2000, where he was named a NAIA All-Star.
Minor leagues to the majorsEdit
Sanchez was originally signed by Boston Red Sox scout Ernie Jacobs after being selected in the 11th round of the 2000 draft. In the 2000 season, he split the year between Single-A Lowell and Augusta. For Lowell he hit .288, and for Augusta he hit .301. He began 2001 playing for Single-A Sarasota, where he hit a Red Sox minor league system best of .339. He quickly moved up to Double-A Trenton, where he hit well above the .300 mark for all of his time there, including above .400 in his first 10 games.
On August 2, 2002, Sanchez was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket, and made his major league debut for the Red Sox on the 10th against Tampa Bay. He went 1-for-2 with a pinch-hit two-run single. The 2003 season saw him optioned back and forth between the Red Sox and Pawtucket. Eventually, Sanchez was acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 31 for Jeff Suppan, and was assigned to Triple-A Nashville; he played only one game there before an ankle injury forced him onto the disabled list.
Sanchez spent most of the 2004 season on the disabled list because of the ankle injury, and did not play until July; he joined the major league roster in September.
2005 was Sanchez's first full season in the major leagues. He began the season as a backup infielder, but ended up playing in a majority of the team's games due to injuries and poor performance by other players. He appeared in 132 games and made 100 starts (39 at second base, 6 at shortstop and 55 at third base), compiling a .291 batting average with 5 home runs and 35 RBI. 2005 included the birth of his son, Evan.
Sanchez received over 850,000 write-in votes for the 2006 All-Star Game, the most of all MLB players. He made the National All-Star squad as a reserve selected by NL manager and former Pirate Phil Garner. Sanchez entered the game in the 5th inning at shortstop, replacing perennial All-Star Edgar Rentería. He made a stellar leaping catch which was the defensive play of the game. He finished the game at 2nd base and went 0 for 2 at the plate with two ground-outs.
A local reporter has dubbed 2006 Sanchez's "storybook season" for his rise from a high-ceiling, limited-visibility prospect to an All-Star and batting champion. Pirates manager Jim Tracy admitted his surprise and praised him, "If you handed out ballots at the start of the season listing potential candidates to win the National League batting championship, I don't know that his name would have been on it. Now? He's a guy people are going to keep an eye on for many years to come."
Beyond this amazing accomplishment, Sanchez reached the coveted 200 hit mark for the season. Though it was said that he lacked power, he showed nice pop in his bat by leading the National League in doubles with 53. He also tacked on 85 RBIs. He led the majors in line drive percentage (27.5%).After the season, Sanchez received the Tony Conigliaro Award for having overcome his physical adversities.
In early January 2006 his Burbank High School Bulldog baseball jersey number "21" was retired during a ceremony hosted by the school and city officials. The day was declared "Freddy Sanchez" day. In January 2007, Sanchez was voted one of Pittsburgh's most 25 beautiful people by Pittsburgh Magazine.
Sanchez became the first Pirate to win a batting title since Bill Madlock in 1983. Sanchez won the award for Pittsburgh, beating Florida Marlins third baseman Miguel Cabrera on the last day of the 2006 season. He made his MLB All-Star Game debut in his own ballpark at PNC Park in 2006 with fellow teammate Jason Bay as the starter for the Pirates.
In 2007, Sanchez was moved to second base, replacing Jose Castillo. Sanchez was also named to the 2007 National League All-Star as a reserve, selected by Tony LaRussa. He was the only Pirate All-Star, and it was his second straight All-Star game. He finished the season with a batting average above .300, and a career-high 11 home runs.
On January 26, 2008, his wife Alissa gave birth to their second son, Ryan Anthony. Shortly following on February 5, the Pirates and Sanchez agreed to a multi year deal. Sanchez's contract guarantees him two seasons with the Pirates and a club option for 2010 that could become a guaranteed year if Sanchez meets certain performance criteria in 2009. The 2010 option takes the place of Sanchez's first year of free agency. The contract could pay the two time All-Star second baseman up to $18.9 million. With a sluggish first half yet a strong second half, Sanchez batted .271 in 2008 with 9 home runs.
On May 25 Sanchez had six hits in one game, Pittsburgh's first six-hit game in 19 years, joining Texas Ranger Ian Kinsler as the only ballplayers to garner that many hits in one game in the season.
Shortly after it was announced that Sanchez was the Pirates' lone representative in the 2009 All-Star Game, the team began to promote Sanchez on the trade market. Interested teams included the Giants, Rockies, Twins, and Mariners. On July 16, reports broke that the Pirates had asked to sit down and talk about a long term contract with Sanchez and Jack Wilson. Both players rejected the initial offers, but reportedly were still open to negotiation. On July 29, 2009, Sanchez's status was resolved when he was traded to the San Francisco Giants for minor league pitcher Tim Alderson.
Sanchez and his wife Alissa have two sons; Evan (born 4/19/2005) and Ryan (born 1/26/2008).
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Sanchez wins Tony C Award for overcoming adversity. Associated Press (via ESPN) (2006-12-06). Retrieved on 2006-12-09.
- ↑ Paul Meyer. "Sanchez delivers happy ending: Batting leader's storybook season continues in Pirates' 10-9, extra-inning win vs. Cubs", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2006-08-31.
- ↑ Major League Leaderboards >> 2006 >> Batters >> Batted Ball Statistics. FanGraphs. FanGraphs Baseball. Retrieved on 2009-07-21.
- ↑ Speed, Elizabeth. WQED Multimedia: Pittsburgh Magazine: December 2006: Signature Sendall. Pittsburgh Magazine: December 2006. WQED Multimedia. Retrieved on 2009-07-21.
- ↑ Freddy Sanchez's six hits leads Pittsburgh Pirates over Cubs 10-8. MSN Sports. The Canadian Press. Retrieved on 2009-07-21.
- ↑ Langosch, Jenifer (2009-07-20). Sanchez, Wilson open to staying with Bucs. Pirates.com. MLB.com. Retrieved on 2009-07-21.
- ↑ http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/giants/detail?&entry_id=44521
- ↑ Freddy Sanchez Stats, Bio, Photos, Highlights. Pirates.com. MLB.com. Retrieved on 2009-07-21.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
- Fan Homepage - www.freddysanchez.net
|National League Batting Champion|