In a few short weeks, the Phillies will likely face the pitcher who was their own top prospect just 18 months ago.
The Marlins are calling up Sixto Sanchez, who was traded by the Phillies with catcher Jorge Alfaro last February to Miami for J.T. Realmuto.
The hard-throwing, 22-year-old Sanchez had been pitching in Jupiter, Fla. at the Marlins' alternate site. He made 20 starts last season, 18 at Double A, and went 8-6 with a 2.76 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. Throughout his minor-league career, Sanchez has always exhibited incredible control and the ability to keep the ball in the yard. He's walked just 1.7 batters per nine innings in the minors and been taken deep only nine times in 335⅓ innings.
Entering the year, Sanchez was rated the No. 16 overall prospect by Baseball America and No. 22 by MLB.com.
The Phillies have seven games against the Marlins from Sept. 10-14, all in Miami. Two of those days are doubleheaders, so the likelihood is high that Sanchez will face the Phillies.
Parting with Sanchez hurt for the Phillies but was necessary to acquire the best catcher in baseball, Realmuto. It adds even more urgency for the Phillies to re-sign Realmuto. They didn't trade their top prospect for two seasons of Realmuto. They did it with the intention of locking him up long-term. It will be a failure for more than one reason if the Phillies are unable to retain Realmuto in free agency this winter.
A slew of top prospects were called up to the majors in the first two weeks of August, including Spencer Howard and Alec Bohm by the Phillies, Casey Mize and Isaac Paredes by the Tigers, Josh Bart by the Giants, Dane Dunning by the White Sox, Dylan Carlson by the Cardinals, Christian Pache by the Braves, Keibert Ruiz by the Dodgers and Luis Garcia by the Nationals.