At the beginning of this baseball season, I gave my prediction for AL Cy young and chose Toronto Blue Jays young right-handed pitcher Marcus Stroman. Stroman, who has posted season numbers up to this point of 8-4 with a 4.90 ERA hasn’t been in the conversation for Cy young much this season. However, this teammate Aaron Sanchez sits in a nice spot to be in Cy Young conversation down the stretch. Sanchez is sporting a 10-1 record with a 2.87 ERA and 108 strikeouts to just 37 walks. Opponents are hitting only .233 off of him and allows just under a hit per inning. Sanchez has been nothing short of dominant, and many never saw this coming.
Sanchez, who is a native of Barstow, California was drafted in the 34th round in the 2010 draft. After three full seasons in the minor leagues, Sanchez finally got the call up to the big league club and has made the most of his opportunity. Good friends with Marcus Stroman, Sanchez has learned a lot playing with Stroman coming up with him in the minor leagues. Sanchez broke into the majors in 2014, and posted only 33 innings for the big league club before coming back in 2015 and pitching triple the amount of innings with 92.1. After going 7-6 just a year ago, many thought Sanchez would fight for the 5th starter spot on the Blue Jays staff, and he was able to earn that spot out of spring training. However, a shot at a Cy Young in your first full season as a major league pitching is no easy feat. Sanchez who has used the strikeout effectively has also proven that preventing walks can be an important part of pitching. The young righty has seven fewer strikeouts in his 125.1 innings this year than his 92.1 innings last season.Although a Cy young is most likely out of the question unless Baltimore’s Chris Tillman or White Sox lefty Chris Sale were to have major drop offs down the stretch. Simply due to the fact that the Blue Jays pitching staff has been one of the best in the major leagues, his outstanding pitching will not stand out against the aces' of other staffs. The Blue Jays once again possess one of the best offenses in the major leagues, so the run support for Sanchez and the rest of the staff has been a key attribute to the pitching staff's success. Nevertheless, Aaron Sanchez has the potential to continue an outstanding year that none expected.