From BR Bullpen
Yunesky Sanchez Navarro
also listed as Yunieski
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 230 lb.
 Biographical Information
Yunesky Sanchez has played in Cuba and the US.
Sanchez hit .234/.276/.299 in two seasons in the Cuban Serie Nacional, fielding .955 as an infielder. He then defected from Cuba. He signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks; the scout was Junior Noboa. He hit .282/.323/.353 in his US debut with the 2007 South Bend Silver Hawks, fielding .966 as their starting shortstop. In 2008, the Cardenas native moved to the Mobile BayBears, producing at a .296/.333/.348 rate. He only stole 8 bases in 21 tries, tying for second in the Southern League in times gunned down running (behind Miguel Negron).
Back with Mobile in 2009, the singles-heavy hitter lost his starting job at short to Pedro Ciriaco and became a utility infielder; he hit .266/.315/.352 in 213 plate appearances. He batted .284/.332/.411 for the 2010 Reno Aces, playing a team-high 54 games at the hot corner (one ahead of Eddie Rogers) and also seeing action at second and short.
Let go by the D-backs, he moved to the independent Southern Maryland Blue Crabs and was phenomenal at making contact, hitting .403/.426/.584 with 17 doubles and 41 runs in 53 games. The Pittsburgh Pirates signed him and sent him to the Altoona Curve, where he was a regular at third for the remainder of the year; he batted .299/.331/.388 for the Curve. In 2012, he split time between the Somerset Patriots (.274/.284/.401 in 77 G, 5 BB) and the Laredo Lemurs (.232/.274/.319 in 17 G) to bring his US average to .295, 61 points higher than it had been in Cuba.
Sanchez then joined the Spanish national team for the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers; he was far from the lone Cuban on the team, which also included Bárbaro Cañizares, Néstor Pérez, Yasser Gómez, Remigio Leal and Eddie Morlan. He did very well, going 4 for 6 with two runs and 3 RBI in the decisive win over Israel that earned Spain its first appearance in a World Baseball Classic. He tied Paco Figueroa for the best average in that qualifier and tied for the most runs (with Figueroa, Gabe Suarez and Nate Freiman).