INF Carlos Sanchez continues to speed his way through the White Sox organization. After just 30 games at Double-A Birmingham, the 20 year old will be spending the remainder of his minor league season in Charlotte. The switch-hitter will be the youngest player to appear for Charlotte since Jon Garland in 2000.*
Sanchez was signed out of Venezuela on May 6, 2009, and spent his first two professional seasons with the White Sox Dominican Summer League team. He made his debut stateside in June 2011, appearing briefly for Rookie Bristol before moving on to full season ball at Low-A Kannapolis, where he batted .288/.341/.345 - a rather impressive line for a 19 year old middle infielder.
I identified him as a "sleeper" prospect this offseason and he certainly has lived up to that. He began 2012 with High-A Winston-Salem, where he hit .315/.374/.395 as one of the youngest players in the league.
He moved on to Birmingham last month, where he was the second youngest player in the Southern League, and continued to hit: .370/.424/.462. Sanchez will now be the youngest player in the International League by more than a year.
Sanchez can play shortstop, second base and third base but his long-term home will likely be second base, where he is a plus defender. He has excellent contact skills and can pepper line drives to any field. His strike zone judgment is well-advance for his age. A "perfect world" projection would probably be along the lines of the career of Luis Castillo: a high batting average, good on-base skills, good speed, little power and plus defense.
* Excluding players such as Miguel Gonzalez, Orionny Lopez and Ryan Rodriguez who were promoted to Charlotte from the low minors to fill roster spots late in the minor league season.