Righthander Aaron Sanchez, Clutchlings #1 Blue Jays prospect, continued his string of impressive performances with perhaps his best outing in this young season in a 9-1 thrashing of the Daytona Cubs, a club that boasts top prospects shortstop Javier Baez, and outfielder Jorge Soler
Sanchez pitched into the 7th inning in his longest start to date. He limited Daytona to 1 run and 2 hits, walking 1 and striking out 5. The lone run came in courtesy of a Sanchez wild pitch. In previous starts, Sanchez had a higher groundball:flyball ratio, but in this outing he gave up 4 flyouts and 8 groundouts.
Command issues were a bit of a problem for Sanchez in a season split between Rookie Ball and Low Class A last year, but he has shown an ability to throw strikes, mostly low in the strike zone, so far this season. He has walked only 7 batters in 20 innings pitched, and lowered his WHIP to 0.87, and his ERA to 3.05. Florida Stage League hitters are batting a paltry .149 against him.
Sanchez picked up the victory, his first on the season, and a hitless performance by the D-Jays bullpen against Daytona improved the Jays' Northern Division-leading record to 13-4, with a 3 game lead on 2nd place Brevard County.
Sanchez was economical with his pitches in going past the 5th inning for the first time this year. His pitch and innings count will no doubt continue to be closely monitored, but he's shown why the Blue Jays braintrust opted to keep him over fellow prospects Syndergaard and Nicolino when they upgraded the major league roster before Christmas.
Update: I asked Marcus Stroman for his impression of Sanchez last night: