Top pitching prospect injured in boating accident

Victor Sanchez, one of the top pitching prospects in the Mariners farm system, suffered a head injury in a boating accident in his home country of Venezuela on Saturday, according to Venezuelan media reports.

The Mariners say they are aware that Sanchez has been in an accident, but have been unable to confirm the nature or severity of the accident at this point.

Sanchez, 20, was reportedly struck by a boat while swimming on a beach in Carúpano and, according to a report in Venezuelan sports website Lavinotinto.com, he was unconscious for some period of time on Saturday night and hospitalized in Carupuano.

The 6-foot, 255-pound right-hander was ranked as the Mariners’ 11th-best prospect by MLB.com last year. He went 7-6 with a 4.19 ERA in 23 starts for Double-A Jackson, where he was the second-youngest player in the Southern League.

Sanchez was regarded as one of Venezuela’s top young pitching prospects when the Mariners signed him for a reported $2.5 million bonus in 2011 as a 16-year-old out of Rio Chico, Venezuela. He made 15 starts with Low-A Everett in 2012, going 6-2 with a 3.18 ERA, then posted a 6-6 record and 2.78 ERA in 20 starts for Class-A Clinton in 2013 before being promoted to Double-A ball last season.

Sanchez threw a no-hitter in 2013 for Clinton in the 27th start of his pro career, blanking Lansing for nine innings with eight strikeouts, no walks and just one hit batter marring his outing.

Sanchez was not among the players invited to Seattle’s upcoming Major League camp, but was preparing to report to Minor League camp in several weeks at the team’s complex in Peoria, Ariz.

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