Agustin Armando Sanchez
- Bats Both, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 154-185 lb.
- High School Luis Munoz Marin High School
The Colorado Rockies drafted Sanchez in the 11th round of the 1997 amateur draft. He debuted in 1997 with the AZL Rockies and hit .271/.356/.305. He stole 15 bases without getting caught once. In 1998, Sanchez batted .318/.406/.488 for the AZL Rockies. He just missed the top 10 in batting average and scored 40 runs in 45 games but only went 13-for-21 in stolen base attempts.
In 1999, Tino struggled with a .168/.241/.248 line in 31 games for the Portland Rockies. An outfielder in his first two years, he moved to catcher that season. As a backup for the 2000 Asheville Tourists in his first year in a full-season league, Sanchez was mostly used at first base, where his 40 games led the team. He hit .251/.332/.299 in 58 contests.
Moving up to the Salem Avalanche in 2001, Sanchez was a utility man, playing catcher, first, third and the outfield. He batted .233/.316/.297 in 91 games. In 2002, he made it to AA with the Carolina Mudcats and hit .283/.379/.382 to finish third on the team in OBP behind Choo Freeman and Kevin Burford. He played every position except first base and shortstop.
In the winter of 2002-2003, Sanchez hit .243/?/.336 for the Bayamon Cowboys in his native Puerto Rico. He was back in AA that year with the Tulsa Drillers, putting up a .233/.292/.304 batting line in a utility role. He mostly was used as the backup to J.D. Closser at catcher.
Sanchez moved to the independent leagues in 2004, signing as an OF/C with the Bridgeport Bluefish and hitting .290/.353/.444 as one of the club's better batters. He split 2005 between Tulsa (.235/.317/.345 in 62 games) and Bridgeport (.250/.320/.309). Tino was with the same two teams in 2006 - he hit .324/.408/.434 in 42 games for Bridgeport and .325/.387/.506 in 23 for Tulsa. Had he qualified, he would have led the Atlantic League in batting average and finished tied for second with Alex Gordon in the Texas League behind Billy Butler.
Sanchez made his AAA debut with a couple games in 2007 but was back in AA for one of the saddest events of the season. On July 22, 2007 a tragedy occurred when a line drive from the bat of Sanchez hit Tulsa first base coach Mike Coolbaugh in the head. After receiving CPR on the field, Coolbaugh was rushed to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead at 9:47 p.m.
- S.L. Price: Heart of the Game: Life, Death and Mercy in Minor League America, Harper Collins Publishers, New York, NY, 2009.