What’s going wrong with Jesus Sanchez of the Miami Marlins?

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 20: Jesus Sanchez #76 of the Miami Marlins celebrates after hitting a two-run home run off Erick Fedde #23 of the Washington Nationals during the third inning at loanDepot park on September 20, 2021 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 20: Jesus Sanchez #76 of the Miami Marlins celebrates after hitting a two-run home run off Erick Fedde #23 of the Washington Nationals during the third inning at loanDepot park on September 20, 2021 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Jesus Sanchez had a red-hot start for the Miami marlins to start the season. He was even batting second in the batting order at that point. We were high on him going back to last year, but something isn’t right anymore. Sanchez is currently hitting .234/.294/.404 and has been dropped to the bottom of the batting order. Let’s see what’s wrong and whether he will bounce back.

Jesus Sanchez was red-hot in the beginning of the season.

When the season began, Sanchez was hitting .282/.346/.493 and seemed to be on the verge of a major breakout season. The month of May however has been catastrophic for Sanchez, as he hit an abysmal .087/.125/.130 so far. Sanchez’s BABIP is .311 at the moment, so unfortunately this means that his current batting line is not a fluke.

There are some positives with Sanchez’s performance, namely that he has a 90.0 Exit Velocity and therefore is still hitting the ball hard. He has a 90.5 career EV so this isn’t an unusual result. In fact, his 2020 EV was a phenomenal 95.4, though it also came in a very small sample size. It’s clear that Sanchez is capable of hitting for power and hitting 20 home runs or more this season is still a possibility.

A big issue that is easily noticeable when someone starts analyzing Sanchez’s statistics, is his 29.4% strikeout rate. It’s pretty high, but luckily is a drop from last season’s 31.1%. Compared to last season, he also improved his contact on inside pitches from 81.7% to 86.4% and on outside pitches from 53.5% to 54.1%. His BB% however has dropped from 8.0% to 5.9%.

Jesus Sanchez is still only 24 years old, so he’s clearly not a “bust” or in some serious decline. I believe that he’s simply going through normal growing pains that players go through in the Major Leagues. He has good power and improved his contact, so it is possible that he’ll come closer to his early season production. On the flip side, he’s having issues with same-handed pitchers (lefties), hitting them for a batting line of .136/.136/.136. For the time being, continuing to sit him against lefties makes sense and a platoon partner for this season might not be a bad idea either.

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