- #18 – 2015 Preseason
- Arizona Fall League, 2016
Sanburn was acquired in exchange for Adam Dunn in August of 2014, but didn’t pitch in the White Sox system that year. The Kokomo, IN native went into the 2014 season ranked as Oakland’s #11 prospect according to Baseball America, but his stock had fallen somewhat as minor shoulder problems relegated him to a relief role. In that role in 2014 he posted a nice 9.2 K/9 rate against a very reasonable 3.2 BB/9. But 2015 ended up a messy year, as he was on and off the DL with minor injuries. He missed June and part of July, and came back for two outings. In that second outing he walked the only four batters he faced (on July 15th), and went back in the DL. He returned briefly for five games at the end of the season, and when all was done he’d only thrown 30 innings on the year, striking out 30 but walking 23. In 2016 he spun his wheels again to open, but from mid-May to mid-August he put up a 0.98 WHIP and struck out nearly a batter an inning, as something seemed to suddenly “click”. He was even given four starts at the end of the season; three were solid, the fourth wasn’t. The Sox sent him to the AFL, where in 6 starts his results were up and down: 4.81 ERA, 12 BB and 18 K in 24.1 IP.
The stuff is significant when he’s healthy: a fastball that runs low-to-mid 90’s and touches 96 (and that BA once called “electric”), a hard upper 70’s curve with good depth, and work-in-progress slider and change. At 6′ and 175 pounds he’s got a smaller frame for a guy throwing mid-90’s gas, and that durability question dictates part of his value. He’s a reliever now, and that FB-CB one-two punch could make him an effective late innings bullpen weapon. His turnaround in 2016 could be a sign that he’s ready to take that next step, thus in part the AFL placement, but we didn’t learn a whole lot in that stint. His FB velo was more low 90’s, but it was late in the season and he’d been ramping up innings. 2017 will show if he’s on the right track.
Major League Outlook: Set-up man
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