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Sanchez still going strong in first full season

August 24, 2005|By:

FREDDY SANCHEZ

Burbank High; third baseman; Pittsburgh Pirates: Prior to this

year, the most games the Burbank High graduate played during a major

league season was 20 in 2003 when he was called up to the Boston Red

Sox.

With limited experience, Sanchez had logged just 41 games in three seasons with the Red Sox and Pirates.

So, with that kind of track record, many wondered how the

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infielder would hold up if he was ever given the opportunity to play

as an everyday player.

Sanchez, 28, has been given that opportunity this season, and he

has been making the most of his chance.

Sanchez has been consistent at the plate and reliable -- if not

sometimes brilliant -- on defense for the struggling Pirates.

With five weeks remaining in the season, Sanchez has already

played in 95 games and has become Pittsburgh's starting third

baseman.

Although his average had dipped the last week, he is still batting

.268 (81 for 32). In the last 10 games, he is hitting just .200.

Along with scoring 34 runs, he also has 23 runs batted in, 14

doubles, three triples and one home run. He also has 21 walks and has

struck out 21 times.

In the field, Sanchez has started 66 games at third base,

shortstop and second base. He has 80 put-outs and just four errors in

249 total chances. He has a .990 fielding percentage.

Unfortunately for the Pirates, they haven't done as well this

season. Pittsburgh has a 53-72 record and is last in the National

League Central Division, 26 games behind the division-leading St.

Louis Cardinals.

Sanchez is a former Bulldog standout who also starred at Glendale

Community College.

-- Jeff Tully

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