As is tradition around these parts after the season is over, we’re taking a look at every player that got into a game for the St. Louis Cardinals this season. That’ll range from someone that didn’t record an out to someone that played almost every inning. Treat it like they are stopping by the manager’s office (umm, also imagine this was before the managerial change) on their way home for the winter for a performance review. Stats listed are ones generated during their time with the Cards and the grade is based not only on their performance but on the expectations for them going into the season. As he has the past few years, the legend that is cardinalsgifs has provided our excellent header image!
Player: Ali Sanchez
Season stats: 2 G, 4 PA, 2 2B, .500/.500/1.000, 305 OPS+, 0.1 bWAR, 0.0 fWAR
Statcast: .510 xwOBA, 0.0 barrel %, 91.2 exit velocity, 75.0 hard hit %, 0.0 K %, 0.0 BB %
Best Statcast category: Max Exit Velocity (35th percentile)
Worst Statcast category: None
Positives: Both of his major league hits went for extra bases….both games he played in were the second of a doubleheader….hit .275 in 70 games at Memphis….had four homers and 10 doubles in 251 minor league at bats….got one of the two initial roster expansion spots in September.
Negatives: Only made one start in the bigs, with his second appearance being as a pinch-hitter….got sent back down to Memphis in mid-September….was caught stealing both times he tried to run at AAA.
Overview: A team with Yadier Molina needs a third catcher like I need another Star Wars Funko Pop. I mean, I’ll always get one, but it’s not like it’s a gaping hole that must be filled. Sanchez’s promotion in September didn’t make any sense because of that, given the limited amount of roster expansion, and it was good to see the team reverse that when they needed the roster space. Other than that, Sanchez seems to be a fine prospect/depth piece. I don’t see that Kyle Reis has written about him in his listing so it’s probably more depth than prospect, but it’s good to have that kind of guy around in case there’s an injury.
Outlook: Sanchez will probably spend most of the year in Memphis in 2022, but depending on the development of Ivan Herrera could be in line to be the backup to Andrew Knizner (or, if he’s dealt for Herrera to ascend, Herrera) in 2023. He’ll turn 25 in January so it won’t terribly ruin him to wait.