Sixto Sanchez is getting closer to Miami. He's just heading to northeastern Florida first.
The Marlins are promoting their top prospect from Class A Advanced Jupiter to Double-A Jacksonville on Tuesday, the club announced. Sanchez will make his Double-A debut with the Jumbo Shrimp in Jacksonville on Tuesday evening.
The 20-year-old right-hander made two starts for Jupiter before the promotion, putting up a 4.91 ERA and 1.45 WHIP with six strikeouts and two walks in 11 innings. His most recent outing came last Thursday when he surrendered four earned runs on eight hits and a walk over six frames. He threw 74 pitches in the outing, 54 of which were strikes.
Sanchez began the season in extended spring training after he missed much of 2018 with right elbow inflammation and had an Arizona Fall League stint cut short with a collarbone issue. Those issues appear to be in the past and he's been extending himself through the first two months of the 2019 season.
"I feel really good right now," Sanchez told his new club through an interpreter. "I'm so happy for my first start in Double-A. I want to work hard every day and pitch for the Marlins in the big leagues hopefully this year."
Sanchez is ranked as the No. 27 overall prospect in baseball by MLB.com on the strength of his plus-plus fastball and above-average curveball and changeup. His special control -- with a career walk rate of just 4.9% -- makes the whole package play up.
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The Dominican Republic native was traded to the Marlins this past offseason along with catcher Jorge Alfaro and left-hander Will Stewart in the deal that sent All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto to the Phillies. Sanchez became Miami's top prospect and is now one of three Top-100 prospects in the rebuilding farm system alongside No. 87 Victor Victor Mesa and No. 95 Monte Harrison.