Pirates release former top prospect Tony Sanchez

BY foxsports • January 13, 2016

The Pittsburgh Pirates have officially cut ties with catcher Tony Sanchez.

On Wednesday, the Pirates released Sanchez, a former top prospect who was designated for assignment last week to make room for newly acquired pitcher Neftali Feliz on the 40-man roster.

According to multiple outlets, Sanchez is now a free agent after receiving an unconditional release from the Pirates.

Selected in the first round of the 2009 amateur draft with Pittsburgh's fourth-overall pick, Sanchez never developed quite like the Pirates had hoped he would in their farm system.

In addition to posting mediocre numbers at the plate (.261/.357/.408 8 HR 51 RBI per minor-league season), the 5-foot-11, 220-pound catcher did not display the makings of a major-league backstop, and was often considered a defensive liability.

Sanchez played in 51 games for the Pirates' major-league club over the past three years, in which he hit .259/.303/.378 with four home runs and 18 RBI.

This past season, Sanchez only received eight major-league at-bats, notching three hits over three games.

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