By John Philip Wyllie
A solid pitching staff carried the (19-11) Castle Park Trojans into the CIF San Diego Section Division II playoffs this season. And while that campaign ended with a disappointing 6-2 CIF loss on May 23 to Point Loma, the year as a whole was a success. Trojans ace, Alex Sanabia developed into the go-to guy for coach, Joaquin Sosa.
“Alex is the guy you would want on the mound in a tough game. I feel very comfortable with him out there. He has been our workhorse and he has won eight games for us (against only four loses). With his talent, his arm and his poise, he has matured this year. He has done very well and he is only going to get better.”
Sanabia has caught the attention of several pro scouts in this, his senior season and he has generated interest from UC Riverside, Long Beach State and several top junior colleges. At the moment, he is not sure where he will pitch next season. Having been selected by the Florida Marlins in the 32nd round of the Major League Amateur Draft on Wednesday, Sanabia also has that option.
“I am still debating what to do and I am waiting to see what happens. Then I will make my decision,” Sanabia said.
Sosa has seen a lot of good pitchers throughout his many years of involvement at Castle Park. He considers Sanabia among the best.
“Alex has a pretty good fast ball in the high 80s or low 90s, a great 12 to 6 curve ball that just falls off the table and a great change-up. He has learned that he doesn’t have to throw hard every time He can place his pitches and set-up the next one. He has also developed confidence and maturity. Alex is both a power pitcher and a finesse pitcher. He’s probably the best pitcher to come out of here in the last 12 years.”
Pitching is relatively new to Sanabia. Prior to this year, he was the Trojan’s starting shortstop. He still plays there or at first base when he is not pitching. His future however, appears to be on the mound. In Sanabia’s mind, being a pitcher has its advantages.
“As a pitcher you can control the game. You need good pitching in order to win. It is often the key to the game.”
Prior to the season-ending playoff loss, Sanabia had allowed only nine runs on the year, four of which came in one game. His E.R.A. was a miniscule .9. He credits the Caste Park coaching staff for his development.
“Our pitching coach, Mark Meadows has helped me with my mechanics and he has helped me to get into shape.”
Sanabia has also received the support of his parents through the years.
“My parents are behind me all the way. They had me playing in Mexico when I was younger and they come to all of my games now. They will support my decision 100% whatever I decide to do.”