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06/12/2009 3:10 PM ET
Pirates sign first round draft pick Tony Sanchez
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The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced they have agreed to terms with catcher Tony Sanchez, the fourth overall pick and the first player chosen by the club in the annual First-Year Player Draft this past Tuesday, June 9. The announcement was made by Neal Huntington, Pirates Senior Vice President and General Manager, and Greg Smith, Director of Scouting.

In 58 games as a junior with Boston College this season, Sanchez, 21, led the team in batting average (.346), slugging percentage (.614), on-base percentage (.443), home runs (tied with 14) and runs scored (63), a single-season school record.

He also ranked second on the team in doubles (19) and third in RBI (51). Defensively, he threw out the most would be base stealers in the Atlantic Coast Conference (19), while becoming the first player in Boston College history to be voted on to the All-ACC first team.

He was rated by Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus and ESPN as the top college catcher available in the draft, as well as being the best overall defensive catcher and having the best throwing arm of any college catcher.

Sanchez is one of the three finalists for the 2009 Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award which is presented annually to the nation's top collegiate catcher (winner will be announced on June 26) and was tabbed as one of 30 semifinalists for the Golden Spikes Award, presented annually to the nation's premier amateur baseball player.

"We are very pleased to add a player with the tools, skills and intangibles of Tony Sanchez to our organization," said Smith.

"Tony was the best catcher available in the draft and we are excited that he will be able to begin his professional career this summer."

Sanchez was one of the most productive hitters in Boston College history, hitting .317 in 161 career games. He ranks fifth all-time at Boston College with 24 home runs and 124 RBI, sixth with 202 hits and eighth with 125 runs.

Sanchez also played in the prestigious, wooden bat Cape Cod Baseball League in 2008 for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox and led the team with a .326 batting average in 34 games. He was named as the starting catcher in the 2008 Cape Cod Baseball League All-Star Game and was a member of the All-League team.

"We are thrilled to be able to reach an agreement with Tony," said Huntington. "He is a young man who possesses a combination of present abilities, potential upside and personal traits that was matched by few in the draft. The entire organization is looking forward to Tony making his debut in our minor league system and watching him advance during his professional career."

Before enrolling at Boston College, Sanchez was a catcher for three years at Killian High School in Miami, FL, where he graduated with a 4.0 grade point average. He was a three-time All-Dade County selection, served as the team captain in 2005 and 2006 and led the team in every offensive category as a senior in 2006.

Sanchez is expected to report to the club's Extended Spring Training program in Bradenton, FL, before being assigned to the West Virginia Power in approximately 10 days.

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