Sixto Sanchez, the Phillies' prized pitching prospect who just turned 19 on July 29, was promoted Friday from Class A Lakewood to High A Clearwater.
He's the Phils' latest intriguing pitching prospect to jump up a level, joining Seranthony Dominguez, JoJo Romero, Ranger Suarez and Franklyn Kilome on the Threshers' staff.
Recently acquired pitchers McKenzie Mills (from Nationals for Howie Kendrick), J.D. Hammer (from Rockies for Pat Neshek) and Seth McGarry (from Pirates for Joaquin Benoit) are also on Clearwater's loaded pitching staff.
The Phillies will be cautious with Sanchez's workload this season - he's unlikely to go too far past 100 innings - but it was clear he was ready for a new challenge this season. In 13 starts with Lakewood in the South Atlantic League, Sanchez posted a 2.41 ERA with 64 strikeouts, nine walks and just one home run allowed in 67⅓ innings. His opponents have hit .191 and had no extra-base hits in his last three starts.
If you've paid attention to the Phillies' farm system this year, you've likely heard about Sanchez's advanced command of his mid-to-high 90s fastball. It's not common for a teenager with a fastball that big to be able to throw it where he wants as consistently as Sanchez has.
"Velocity is everywhere," Phillies director of player development Joe Jordan said of Sanchez earlier this season, "but the ability to throw it where you're trying to is what separates him."