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Freddy Sanchez - tearing it up

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Freddy Sanchez -- en fuego! El hombre puede columpiar el batea y tira el cuero alrededor.
All the talk lately has been about how Hanley Ramirez is exceeding expectations down in Miami, and rightly so. He's having a tremendous season. But have you seen what's going on in Pittsburgh lately?

It's been a few years since the Sox sent Freddy Sanchez, Mike Gonzalez and cash to the Pirates for Jeff Suppan, Brandon Lyon and Anastacio Martinez, but the trade is finally paying some serious dividends for the Buccos.

The now 28-year-old Sanchez is hitting .351, tops in the National League as of this writing, with 4 homers and 32 RBI. His OBP is a respectable .384 and he's slugging .505. And this year, he's making a paltry $342,000.

The Red Sox drafted Freddy in the 11th round back in 2003, and he was considered one of our top prospects, batting .341 at Pawtucket, and leading the International League in with a .384 batting average when called up on May 30. Freddy hit just .235 in 20 games at the major league level before returning to Pawtucket, where he hit just .208 in 13 games before being traded at the deadline.

At the time, I thought trading Freddy was the right thing to do. We needed help on the mound. And while we didn't get much out of Suppan, we did come close as a team. My philosophy has always been you can't win with potential--at least not in the short term.

Speaking of potential, did you guys read this piece in the USA Today on Josh Hamilton? Interesting. I, for one, hope he can beat back the demons, and stay clean long enough to make it to the "bigs."

But I digress.

Freddy Sanchez has been gone for a while, but he's finally starting to make good on his promise. I hope he can keep it up and eventually get paid, because that would mean he's not playing for the AAA team in Pittsburgh anymore--unless Mark Cuban buys them. Oh, well. That's a subject for another day.

Now where did I put those hindsight goggles?