Braves glad to grab high schooler Sanchez late
Outfielder a premium talent, but falls to 16th round due to injury
The third day of the First-Year Player Draft got off to a good start for the Braves and scouting director Tony DeMacio. When the Draft resumed with the 16th round Wednesday afternoon, the Braves were able to nab George Washington (New York) High School outfielder Fernelys Sanchez with the 509th overall pick.
Sanchez was considered a premium talent until he broke his left fibula in March. The injury left Sanchez sidelined until late May.
"Because of the injury and the way the agreement is set up now, some clubs were probably reluctant to take a chance," DeMacio said.
The Braves, however, were willing to take a shot. Sanchez was heavily scouted last summer when he played in high-profile showcases such as the Under Armor All-American Game.
DeMacio said he expects Sanchez will sign, which would add an athletic, toolsy outfielder to the farm system. Sanchez is a 6-foot-3, 198-pound switch-hitter.
"He has a high ceiling," DeMacio said. "It will take some time, of course."
Sanchez is a native of the Dominican Republic who moved to New York City with his family when he was 9. He attended George Washington High School, the same high school that Rod Carew and Manny Ramirez once did.
DeMacio said once Sanchez signs, he likely will be sent to the Gulf Coast League. There, the Braves will make sure his left leg heals properly before his professional career gets under way.
"We hope to get him in some games," DeMacio said.
Teddy Cahill is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.