Sánchez with the Pittsburgh Pirates
|Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles – No. 3|
September 2, 1983 |
|September 17, 2008, for the Florida Marlins|
(through 2014 season)
|Runs batted in||266|
|Career highlights and awards|
Gabriel "Gaby" Sánchez (born September 2, 1983) is a professional baseball first baseman for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Florida/Miami Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates. He bats and throws right-handed. He played college baseball at the University of Miami.
Sánchez was a 15th round pick (460th overall) of the Seattle Mariners out of Brito Miami Private School in the 2002 Major League Baseball Draft, but chose to attend the University of Miami instead. He signed with the Florida Marlins after they selected him in the 4th round (126th overall) three years later in 2005.
In his first professional season in 2005, Sánchez played mostly third base for the Jamestown Jammers. He made the Short-Season All-Star game as the designated hitter for Jamestown, and was also MVP of the All-Star Game in the New York-Penn League. In 2006, Sánchez played for the Single-A Greensboro Grasshoppers where he batted .317 with 14 home runs in 55 games before a promotion to Triple-A Albuquerque. In 2007, Sánchez played for Single-A Advanced Jupiter; he batted .279, but hit only 9 home runs in 133 games. In 2008, he batted .314 with 17 home runs and 92 RBI for Double-A Carolina en route to winning the Southern League Most Valuable Player Award.
On September 14, 2008, Sánchez was called up to the majors and made his debut on September 17. He attended the Marlins' 2009 Spring Training camp and competed with Jorge Cantu for the starting first baseman position; Sánchez struggled in the spring and was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans Zephyrs.
Entering the following year's spring training, he again had to compete to be the starter at first base. This time, it was with fellow prospect Logan Morrison. Sánchez earned the job on March 29, 2010 after Morrison was reassigned to the minors. On April 10, 2010, Sánchez hit his first home run of the 2010 season. He had his most successful game so far on June 11 in Interleague play against the Tampa Bay Rays, when he had four hits with two home runs and six RBIs.
He was involved in a bench-clearing brawl in the sixth inning of a 16–10 victory over the Washington Nationals at Sun Life Stadium on September 1, 2010. The ill will had spilled over from the previous night when Marlins catcher Brett Hayes suffered a dislocated left shoulder as a result of a collision with Nyjer Morgan at home plate. After hitting Morgan with a pitch, Morgan stole second and third base with a 9 run lead. This prompted starting pitcher Chris Volstad to throw a ball behind Nyjer in his next at-bat. Morgan charged the mound and delivered a left-handed punch at Volstad. Sánchez, who ran in from his position at first base to defend his teammate, then applied a right-arm clothesline to bring Morgan to the ground. Even though he wasn't ejected from the contest, Sánchez was given a three-game suspension two days later for his part in the fracas .
On May 19, 2012, Sánchez was demoted to the New Orleans Zephyrs after an 0-for-3 day at the plate lowered his batting average to .197. On June 10, 2012, Sánchez was recalled to the Majors by the Marlins.
Although Sánchez improved since being called up, hitting two home runs with a batting average of .202, he was optioned to the Zephyrs to make room for newly acquired Carlos Lee, even though he hit a home run in the ninth inning with two outs and two strikes to tie the game that same day.
On July 31, 2012, Sánchez was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates along with pitcher Kyle Kaminsky for outfielder Gorkys Hernández and a competition balanced 2013 draft pick. On August 28, 2013, Sanchez changed his number to 17 so his new teammate, John Buck, could wear number 14. He was designated for assignment on December 1, 2014.
Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles
- 2002 Major League Baseball Draft, Rounds 11–20 – Pro Sports Transactions.
- 2005 Major League Baseball Draft, Rounds 1–10 – Pro Sports Transactions.
- Castillo, Jorge. "The Marlins' Gaby Sanchez Is the Newest Mets Nemesis," The New York Times, Monday, July 25, 2011.
- Capozzi, Joe. "Neither Gaby Sanchez nor Logan Morrison is ahead in race for first-base job," The Palm Beach (FL) Post, Saturday, March 13, 2010.
- Frisaro, Joe. "Sanchez wins Marlins' first-base job," MLB.com, Monday, March 29, 2010.
- Rodriguez, Juan C. "Marlins exact revenge on Morgan, brawl with Nats," Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL), Thursday, September 2, 2010.
- Gonzalez, Alden & Von Benko, George. "MLB hands out suspensions to Nats, Marlins," MLB.com, Friday, September 3, 2010.
- Eddy, Matt (October 19, 2010). "Future Big League Stars Highlight All-Rookie Team". Baseball America. Retrieved October 21, 2010.
- "Valencia awarded with rookie honor". Mlb.com. November 29, 2010. Retrieved December 11, 2010.
- Nicholson-Smith, Ben (July 31, 2012). "Pirates Acquire Gaby Sanchez".
- "Former Pirates infielder Sanchez joins Japan's Eagles". ESPN.com. Associated Press. January 8, 2015. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Gaby Sánchez on Twitter