Braves acquire heralded teen pitcher Sanchez from Angels
The Braves continued bolstering their farm system, landing left-handed teen pitcher Ricardo Sanchez in a three-player deal with the Angels on Thursday.
In exchange for Sanchez, 17, Atlanta sent right-hander Nate Hyatt and infielder Kyle Kubitza to Los Angeles.
Sanchez was entering the season as the second-ranked prospect in the Angels organization according to ‘Baseball America.’ While control has been an issue for the native of Venezuela, he has a fastball that can reach 91 with a plus curveball in the low 70s.
He made 12 appearances in 2014 in the Arizona League, going 2-2 with a 3.49 ERA in 38 2/3 innings pitched with 43 strikeouts. He was originally signed by current Braves senior advisor to player development Lebi Ochoa in July 2013.
Kubtiza was added to the Braves’ 40-man roster on Nov. 19 after a season in which he hit .295/.405/.470 with eight home runs, 11 triples, 31 doubles and 55 RBI for Double-A Mississippi.
The third baseman, who was a third-round pick in 2011, was a source of speed, swiping 21 bases and he had 18 in ’12 at Class-A Rome. Kubitza was expected to contend for a spot on the major league roster this season.
‘Baseball America’ rated him as the Braves’ No. 10 prospect for ’15.
Hyatt, 24, went 9-7 with a 2.88 ERA in three minor-league seasons, reaching as high as High-A Lynchburg last year when he was 5-3 with a 2.71 ERA. He was picked in the 13th round in ’12.
It has been a busy first few months on the job for John Hart as president of baseball operations.
Since taking over in October, he has completed seven trades, most notably shipping Jason Heyward and Jordan Walden to the Cardinals for Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins and moved Justin Upton and Aaron Northcraft to the Padres for Mad Fried, Jace Peterson, Dustin Peterson and Mallex Smith. One week ago, he moved relievers David Carpenter and Chasen Shreve to the Yankees for Manny Banuelos.