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2021 South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 25: Yolbert Sánchez

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While old for his level, this defensive whiz should rise rapidly

@JesseSanchezMLB/Twitter

Yolbert Sánchez
Shortstop
5´11´´
176 pounds
Age: 24
SSS rank among all shortstops in the system: 3
2021 SSS Top Prospect Vote: 29
2020 SSHP Top Prospect Ranking: 21

After playing three years in the Cuban professional league, including the final two seasons with the Industriales de La Habana, the White Sox paid Yolbert Sánchez a $2.5 million signing bonus on 2019’s International Signing Day, designating him as one of the top international prospects of 2018 and 2019.

Sánchez has a reputation as an excellent fielder, with a plus throwing arm and speed; the only concerns are with the bat. MLB Pipeline gives him a 60 grade for fielding, 55 grades for his arm and running, and lower grades for hitting (45) and power (40).

For tax purposes, Sánchez played his first professional season with the DSL squad and did reasonably well. In 33 games totaling 111 at-bats, Sanchez slashed .297/.386/.441 with eight doubles, two triples, one homer, 12 RBIs, three stolen bases, 15 walks (11.8%) and 12 strikeouts (9.4%). It’s difficult to translate these stats. On one hand, Sánchez was more than four years older than DSL average; on the other hand, it had been a year-and-a-half between his games in the Cuban league and the DSL, which likely created some rust until he got into a certain rhythm. In Sánchez’s last 10 games he slashed .333/.442/.528, which seems to bear that out.

While his defense may be major-league ready, Sánchez’s bat certainly isn’t. Expect him to begin the 2021 season with Kannapolis, and work his way up the system rapidly provided he can hold his own offensively.