Thursday night was Opening Day in Trenton, New Jersey, for the Thunder (the Yankees' Class AA affiliate) and the New Hampshire Weasels ... er, Fisher Cats (the Blue Jays' AA affiliate), with both teams throwing their best starting pitchers in Game 1. I was there for the matchup and here's my report.
• Aaron Sanchez started for New Hampshire and his raw stuff was the best I've seen from him. His fastball was an easy 94-96 mph with explosive late life, with hitters flinching twice, once at how quickly it got in on them (especially right-handers) and again when it seemed to find another gear over the plate (an illusion, but an effective one). Sanchez paired it with a plus curveball, mostly 80-81, very sharp with late bite, breaking down hard, with curveball rotation but the timing of a slider's break. His changeup was between average and fringe-average, 88-91, a little too firm with some arm-side run but not enough action to make it truly effective. I'd worry about a pitch like that playing more like a BP fastball in the majors.