MIAMI – The glove is just optional for Marlins rookie outfielder Jesús Sánchez.
When the Nationals ‘Lane Thomas sent a 272-foot ball to right field in the Marlins’ 8-7 win on Monday night in 10 innings at LoanDepot Park, Sánchez gave the chase but passed him, having sprinted too fast towards the foul line. He adjusted, then showed his impressive hand-eye coordination by reaching back and catching it with his bare hands in foul territory for the second of the fourth inning.
Even better than the sleek hitch was the look on Sánchez’s face when he realized how cool the game was, doing a shoulder shimmy as Thomas watched in disbelief and pitcher Jesús Luzardo tilted his cap in sign. of appreciation.
“I was running really hard after the ball,” Sánchez said via an interpreter. “I was trying to be really careful with the wall, and I was looking at the wall, I was looking at the ball, then all of a sudden I looked at the ball and passed the ball completely. I had no reach with my left hand, so I just pulled that right hand and suddenly I grabbed it.
Additionally, Sánchez hit a two-run homer in the third inning, about five minutes before the superb catch, which itself brought up memories of David Wright and Kevin Mitchell – particularly Mitchell’s similar catch of a flying ball. Ozzie Smith in left field corner kick at Busch Stadium on April 26, 1989. Sánchez then scored a seventh in three points and was intentionally slammed in the 10th before a wild throw marked Jazz Chisholm Jr. from third place for the victory at the start. Chisholm has also scored twice for his first career multihomer game.
In the 10th inning, Thomas opened with a brace that Sánchez played poorly on the right field wall, but he unleashed an 89mph throw that seeped home and prevented the runner in second from scoring. . Lifter Dylan Floro continued to work out of the jam without allowing a run.
“Obviously the home run was huge,” said manager Don Mattingly. “We fell behind there, we weren’t that good at the start, but we kind of stuck there. … It was an interesting game from the point of view of falling behind, coming back to it. [We] finally caught up there at the end [and] got a hit. Jesus was good. This take reminded me of Kevin Mitchell, the play he performed. Jesus always makes it interesting. ”
Sánchez, who recently earned Top 100 status, entered the series’ opener at the 97th percentile when it comes to field jumps, according to Statcast. He also had two above-average strikeouts on the right and two defensive points saved. According to the MLB Pipeline scouting report from the start of the season, Sánchez is rated 55 on the 20-80 scale.
When the Marlins recalled Sánchez from Triple-A in Jacksonville in mid-June, he replaced injured Corey Dickerson in left field. Once the club traded their veteran trio of Dickerson, Starling Marte and Adam Duvall, and Sánchez returned from the injured list on August 16, he moved to his more natural position in right field.
“I feel comfortable in the right field, but I think I have a few points that I need to work on and keep improving,” Sánchez said.
During that same span, Sánchez has provided pop in the middle of the order, serving as Miami’s clean-up hitter in 22 of the last 31 games. He’s been making a splash lately, going 13 for 39 (0.333) with six homers and 13 RBIs in his last 10 games.
Sánchez, 23, is one of 14 recruits on the active list. Despite that, the Marlins are seventh best (17-18) in the National League since August 11. Five of the teams ahead of them would be in the playoffs if the season ended today.
“It’s exciting, because now we see where we’re going to get in next year,” said Chisholm, who is three homers away from a 20-20 season. “You have all these rookies on our squad going out there every day and playing their best, and we’re showing each other what we have in store for next year. … The team is going to be really exciting, and we’re showing everyone that this is what they can expect next year.