Aug. 30, 2007
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Two more University of San Diego incoming players have been tabbed as top prospects by Baseball America in the Northwoods League in the form of freshmen right-handed pitcher Kyle Blair and third baseman Victor Sanchez.
Sanchez, who finished his prep career this spring at Gahr High in Norwalk, Calif., I ranked the No. 1 prospect by Baseball america and is rated among the top 100 prospects in the draft this June thanks to his pedigree with USA Baseball's junior national team last summer and his solid all-around tools package. He gives the Toreros plenty to get excited about this summer by holding his own with a wood bat (.275/.390/.394) in one of the nation's premier college summer leagues. Sanchez, who turned around a 93 mph fastball for a home run against future USD teammate Kyle Blair in onegame this summer, has a knack for getting the barrel of the bat on the ball consistently. He can cover the whole strike zone and demonstrates pitch recognition far beyond his years. Sanchez remains very thin but projects to hit for significant power as he fills out his 6-foot-1, 175-pound frame. He's a fringy defender with limited lateral range at third base who hascaught some in high school, and his future might be behind the plate thanks to solid arm strength and receiving skills. Sanchez has advanced maturity and baseball instincts, making his average tools play up.
Blair, a second-team high school All-American this spring at Los Gatos (Calif.) High, was selected as the No. 2 prospect by Baseball America. Blair slipped to the Dodgers in the fifth round because of his seven-figure bonus demands and commitment to San Diego. He was very impressive against experienced college hitters in the Northwoods League, going 3-3, 2.81 with 52 strikeout and 16 walks in 42 innings. With a classic pitcher's build (6-foot-3, 200 pounds), and good command of a four-pitch mix, Blair's upside is significant. He showed a 91-94 mph fastball this summer, a 78-80 power curveball with late bite and feel for a slider and changeup. There is a little effort in Blair's high three-quarters delivery, and his mature frame lacks projection, but his power repertoire and advanced fee for pitching make him an elite prospect.