Former Phillies prospect Sixto Sanchez has been touted for years, and on Saturday, fans of the Marlins and Nationals saw a glimpse why.
Sanchez, the key piece in the Phillies' trade last February for J.T. Realmuto, made his MLB debut for the Marlins Saturday night against Washington.
He showed off a triple-digit fastball, a tight slider and fading changeup.
Sanchez allowed three runs in five innings and left with the lead. He struck out four, did not walk a batter, and was taken deep by Victor Robles and Yan Gomes.
Sanchez, 22, is a hard thrower who has exhibited plus stuff, remarkable control and home run avoidance throughout his minor-league career, allowing 1.7 walks and 0.2 home runs per nine innings.
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.
The Phils will face Sanchez, barring an injury, during the teams' seven-game series from Sept. 10-14 in Miami. Two of those days are seven-inning doubleheaders. The Phillies are 10-12 against the Marlins since the start of last season.