The Hanwha Eagles signed Venezuelan left-hander Ricardo Sanchez a day after the announcement of foreign pitcher Birch Smith Waver.
The Hanwha team officially announced on the 20th that it had signed a contract with Sanchez for an annual salary of $400,000.
Sanchez, a 26-year-old left-handed pitcher born in 1997, made his major league debut with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2020, averaging 6.75 earned run average in 5.1 innings over three games.
In the minor leagues, he started 133 out of 140 career games, recorded 32-52 with a 4.61 ERA, and recorded 581 strikeouts in 640.1 innings.
The Hanwha club said, “Sanchez uses a curveball, slider, and changeup in addition to a fastball with a speed of 140km/h (up to 151km/h) and a two-seam fastball with a similar speed. We expect that Sanchez will be able to digest stable innings through an aggressive pitching pattern.”
Sanchez plans to return to Korea in April and join the team as soon as administrative procedures are completed.
This is the full text of the Sanchez recruiting press release sent by Hanwha토토사이트.
The nuance has changed a lot from the time of Birch Smith’s recruitment, which was expected to become the league’s representative ace.
At the time, Hanwha General Manager Son Hyuk said in a press release on Smith’s recruitment, “Smith is a fireballer-type starting resource and is a pitcher who can be entrusted with the first starting role. He has experience in Asian baseball, so it is expected that it will be easy for him to adapt to the KBO league.”
He continued, “I recruited Smith because I needed a first-class player who could overwhelm opponent hitters. Smith is excellent at striking out with a style of intimidating batters with pitches. We expect that Smith’s strengths will be of great help to the defense,” he added.
Apparently, the reason for recruiting Smith was ‘because he needed a first starter’. In fact, Hanwha is a team that needs an ace pitcher who can compete with any team ace.
However, the result of the analysis so far is that it is difficult to expect such a pitch from Sanchez.
He is a player with little major league experience and a history of surgery. It is a clear advantage that he can throw up to 150 km with a left hand, but he can be said to be a growth player rather than a complete player.
Considering his age, career, and performance, he is a player who is more likely to improve in the future rather than right now.
It is unlikely that the team management policy has changed in just a few months. Hanwha is still a team that needs an ace. Moon Dong-ju is a pitcher who has a lot to learn, although he is riding a steep growth trend. The native ace Kim Min-woo stopped growing at some point.
It is acceptable to try to find an alternative in a situation where one foreign pitcher is missing. A quick response can lead to good results.
However, the foreign players that Hanwha should choose now should be complete, not growth-type.
I can also admit that there are no players of that level on the market right now. However, even if it took a little longer, wouldn’t it have been right if he had chosen a perfect pitcher instead of a growth type.
It is very unlikely that a pitcher with an average ERA of 4 points in the minor leagues will dominate the KBO league.
Even if he can play a part in the starting rotation, it is difficult to expect him to become the first starter. I can’t help but ask why what I was aiming for when I selected Smith has come to falter now.
You can evaluate whether a player can have expectations based on his or her performance.
Sanchez’s American record matches that of a typical growth pitcher. Is Hanwha a team that can afford that?
It is said that the success or failure of a foreign player can only be known by opening the lid. Not everything is solved by grades and career.
It remains to be seen if Sanchez will be able to show the skills to be the first starter rather than just a starter.