Adrian Sanchez wrapped up his 2018 campaign with a .343/.361/.429 month of September, going 12 for 35 with a double and a triple in 36 plate appearances to finish the season with a .276/.288/.345 line overall in 28 games and 59 PAs for Washington.
It was the second run in the major leagues for the Nationals’ 28-year-old infielder, who also put up a .246/.292/.380 line, 17 doubles, three triples, and five home runs in 75 games and 311 PAs for the Nats’ Triple-A affiliate.
In 12 seasons in the Nationals’ system, Sanchez, who was signed as an amateur free agent out of Venezuela in 2007, has put up a combined .261/.303/.352 line to go along with the combined .271/.288/.357 line he’s put up in the 62 games he’s played for Washington thus far after debuting in the majors in 2017.
What about his approach has allowed him to put up the same type of numbers he’s posted in the minors in irregular at bats in the majors?
“I think the key is just staying active every single day,” Sanchez told reporters this winter.
“I work on stuff every single day,” he explained. “I may not be an everyday player, but every day I’m in there with the hitting coaches, I’m working on my routine just so I can always be prepared for when they do need me.”
With all the talk about the Nationals’ depth and needs at second base this winter, Sanchez is something of a forgotten member of the roster. He’s not likely to claim the starting spot, but he’ll probably end up in the majors again at some point since his versatility (playing second base and third base in the majors so far, and second, third, shortstop, and the outfield in his minor league career), makes him a useful player off the bench when/if injuries arise.
Whatever the Nationals need him to do in 2019, Sanchez said he’s going to be ready. His focus this winter?
“I think they key right now is really just staying in shape for me, showing up with my body ready — showing up to Spring Training ready to go, versus using that as the time to start getting ready,” Sanchez said. “So showing up ready and then so I can show the team that I’m available wherever they need me, whatever they need me to do.
“You know I’d love to be with them right from the start and I want to show them that.”