Note: This page is for infielder Adrian Sanchez who made his debut in 2017; for others with similar names, click here.
Adrian Arturo Sanchez Tomas
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 216 lb.
Adrián Sánchez made his major league debut in 2017, his 11th major league season.
Sánchez was signed by the Washington Nationals in January 2007. He hit .269/.354/.379 for the 2007 DSL Nationals 1, fielding .906 at 2B, his primary position. With the same club the next year, he drastically improved his 2B fielding (to .981) and his baserunnning (from 4-for-7 in SB to 21-for-24). His batting remained steady at .276/.333/.379. He made his Venezuelan Winter League debut with the Aguilas del Zulia, going 2 for 3 with a RBI. In 2009, he hit .246/.271/.354 for the GCL Nationals, primarily serving as a backup at 3B.
He split 2010 between the GCL Nationals (.378/.395/.538, 23 R in 29 G) and the Hagerstown Suns (.317/.330/.356 in 25 G). He hit .262/.295/.353 with 30 doubles, 75 runs and 25 steals in 37 tries as the regular second baseman for the 2011 Suns. He tied Chris Marrero and David Freitas for second in the Nats chain, 5 behind Tyler Moore. That winter, he was 2 for 13 for Zulia. With the 2012 Potomac Nationals, he hit .269/.298/.363 with only 11 walks in 101 games. He produced at a .360/.385/.460 clip in 17 games for Zulia in 2012-2013.
Back with Potomac in 2013, he batted .241/.278/.299 and led the team in games played at 2B and SS (56 each). He struggled in winter ball as well (.216/.245/.275, 1 BB in 25 G). He split 2014 between Potomac (.271/.311/.323 in 29 G) and the Harrisburg Senators (.223/.290/.279 in 89 G) and was 0 for 6 with 3 K and a sacrifice fly for Zulia. In '15, he was back with Potomac (.343/.389/.463 in 19 G) and Harrisburg (.246/.288/.335 in 59 G) as a utility man and had a brief rehab stint with the GCL Nationals (5 for 11, HR).
Instead of spending the winter in Venezuela, he went to the Colombian League, where he starred for the Leones de Monteria. He led the league in average (.365, .020 ahead of Eudy Pina), OBP (.007 over Carlos Vidal), slugging (tied with Steve Brown), hits (58, tied with Pina), doubles (13, one over Pina) and extra-base hits (15, tied with Pina). He was second in total bases (76, 3 behind Pina0 and 7th in RBI. He then played for the Colombian national team in the 2017 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers. Starting at short, he went 3 for 12 with a double, walk and steal as well as two RBI. One was Colombia's first of the event, driving in Reynaldo Rodriguez in their opening win. The other came at a crucial time - down 1-0 in the bottom of the 6th in the finale against host Panama, he came up with two on and two out. He singled off Alberto Acosta to score Rodriguez with the tying run; Colombia scored again for a 2-1 win, sending them to the 2017 World Baseball Classic, their first World Baseball Classic.
In the 2017 World Baseball Classic itself, he was 3 for 12 with two doubles, two runs and a RBI. He tied Jorge Alfaro for the team lead in runs. Against Team USA, he helped a near-upset bid against the eventual champs. In the 5th, he doubled off Brian Givens to score Jesús Valdez then scored on a Mauricio Ramos double to tie the game at two. It remained deadlocked until the US won it in the 10th. He started 2017 with Harrisburg (4 for 16, HR, BB) and Syracuse (.244/.295/.357 in 72 G). Sánchez was called up by the Nationals on June 30, 2017, to replace SS Trea Turner, who had broken his hand the previous day. He made his long-awaited big league debut on the day of his call-up, being used as a pinch-runner for Stephen Drew in the 8th inning of an 8-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals and staying in the game at shortstop. He hit .268/.288/.366 in 34 games (75 PA) for the Nationals that summer, driving in 11 in 71 at-bats but only drawing one walk. He was used as a utility infielder. His first MLB hit came in a crucial time; in the bottom of the 10th, with a 4-4 tie against Atlanta, he led off with a single off Ian Krol, advanced on a Ryan Zimmerman hit and came home on a hit by Daniel Murphy for the winning run.
Representing Colombia again, he helped them win Gold at the 2017 Bolivarian Games, their first Bolivarian Games Gold in 44 years. He was 4 for 13 with 3 doubles, a run and two RBI in the event, tying Jahdiel Santamaria for the tournament lead in two-baggers. Against defending champion Panama, his sacrifice fly off Andy Otero scored Manuel Boscan in the 5th to break a scoreless contest open; Colombia would win, 2-0. In the Gold Medal Game, again facing Panama, he was 1 for 4 with a double and a run in a 6-4 win.