Lassina Sanfo

From BR Bullpen

Lassina Sanfo

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 9", Weight 187 lb.

Biographical Information[edit]

Lassina Sanfo was the first pro baseball player from Burkina Faso.

Sanfo was signed by the Kochi Fighting Dogs of the Shikoku-Kyūshū Island League, going 0 for 5 as a rookie in 2015. No player from Burkina Faso had played professional baseball before him. [1] He was not the first African in the league as Zimbabwe's Shepherd Sibanda had played there the prior decade. He hit .233/.292/.333 in 2016, mainly playing second base for Kochi but fell to .162/.265/.191 in 2017. Still only 20 years old, he moved to the outfield in 2018 and rebounded to .250/.334/.250. [2]

He starred for the Burkinabe national team in 2019. In the 2019 African Championship Qualifiers, he hit a two-run homer in the opening upset of the more-established Nigerian national team as the team easily won a spot in the 2019 Africa Cup Baseball Championship. [3] In the 2019 Championship itself, he hit .350/.480/.700 with 7 runs and 5 RBI in 5 games, going 5-for-6 in steals while starting at second for Burkina Faso. He also pitched briefly but struggled (0-1, 5 H, 2 BB, 8 R, 4 ER in 1 1/3 IP, though he fanned 3). He led his team in slugging, was second to Hamidou Kafando in OPS and tied Kafando and Hamidou Sanon for the most RBI on the squad. He went deep off Derek Bayliss of champion South Africa. For the event, he was among the leaders in runs (tied for 9th with Isaac Odongo, teammate Junior Zabré, Tyler Croft and Daniel Alio, total bases (14, tied for 4th with MVP Kyle Botha), slugging (10th among regulars, between Charl Cordier and Hein Robb) and steals (tied Farice Sanou for 3rd, behind Emmanuel Moyo and Zabré) and walks (4, tied for 8th with Haydn Mathee and Dayle Feldtman). Burkina Faso went winless in their first Africa Cup Baseball Championship but came close, losing to Zimbabwe by a run and Uganda 21-15. [4]

Sanfo hit .188/.261/.213 for the 2019 Fighting Dogs. [5]