Marlins: Sixto Sanchez on his way to dominating the NL East for years

In just five starts, Miami Marlins rookie Sixto Sanchez has established himself as one of the nastiest pitchers in Major League Baseball.

Who knew that Miami Marlins fans would have something to be excited about in the 2020 season? Not only is their team vying for a playoff spot, but they’ve found their ace of the future in rookie Sixto Sanchez.

Sanchez has made five starts, pitching to a 1.69 ERA in 32 innings. In that time, he’s struck out 29 and opposing teams are hitting just .214 off of him.

On Sunday afternoon, Sanchez added to his impressive start by pitching a seven-inning complete game, allowing only three hits and one run.

Acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies in the J.T. Realmuto trade, Sanchez had yet to pitch above double-A before this year. Now, if the season ended today, he’d likely receive the ball in game one of a playoff series.

And at 22 years old, Sanchez has quickly garnered comparisons to another young ace from Miami, Jose Fernandez. Like Fernandez, Sanchez is becoming must-watch television. His overpowering stuff and control give him double-digit strikeout potential every time he laces up his cleats.

He relies primarily on his exceptional changeup and fastball but mixes his sinker and slider in almost evenly. In fact, the changeup is his top used pitch and he only throws it 26.1% of the time.

A 100 mph fastball and 90 mph changeup is hard enough to hit, but combining that with above-average sliders and sinkers gives Sanchez one of the most dangerous arsenals in the game. The more experience he gets, the more he’ll learn how to best roll out that arsenal. And as long as he stays healthy, we could be looking at a perennial Cy Young candidate in Miami.

It’s early, but all signs indicate that we’re watching a bonafide ace emerge in Sanchez. Marlins fans should be excited about the future of their rotation.