Back in 2016, the talk of New York baseball was all about the impressive rookie Gary Sanchez. Although he only played two months of baseball that year, Sanchez still placed second amongst rookies in the Rookie of the Year voting. Brian Cashman, the front office, and coaching staff were all convinced of Sanchez’s talent due to the show he put on towards the end of the regular season.
Concerns With The Rookie
There was no question that Sanchez could swing a bat based on his rookie numbers. He hammered twenty homers in only fifty-three games. However, his defense was underwhelming in his rookie year and has made insignificant strides throughout the years. His passed balls total each year has been amongst the worst defensive catchers in the majors. Unfortunately, the Yankees‘ talented roster doesn’t allow for him to look at a different position. Typically catchers can transition to first base or designated hitter, however, it is unlikely Boone takes away at-bats from Luke Voit or Giancarlo Stanton.
Gary Sanchez followed his stellar preliminary year with a solid year. He did not maintain the numbers he produced in his first season, but still a solid year when looking at the basic offensive stats. He still needed to improve defensively, but in the eyes of most, his offensive production still made him considered a top catcher.
Sanchez Goes Downhill
While consistently having sub-par defense, he showed how bad of a slump he can fall into offensively. Sanchez was below the Mendoza line. In 2019 he was better but nowhere close to where he was expected to be. Then, Sanchez became a victim of the shortened 2020 season. Kyle Higashioka displayed much better chemistry with ace, Gerrit Cole. The backup forced Boone to bench Sanchez every fifth night and Boone was in a constant dilemma as Higashioka displayed highlight-reel blocks every time he was called upon. Gary Sanchez lost a half-game for the Yankees throughout the sixty-game season.
After rejecting any trade involving Gary Sanchez, general manager, Brian Cashman, has decided to listen to trade talks involving the rookie year phenom. Cashman in years prior placed tremendous faith in him. Cashman believed with time, Sanchez had the potential to be elite.
Sanchez In 2021
Sanchez must elevate his game this year. He has amassed his fair share of doubters the past few years. Whether it is a little technical thing messing him up or he is getting in his head. He must turn it around and become the player he was thought to be. If he does not improve quickly it will be Higashioka’s job and Cashman will be pushed to send Sanchez packing. Cashman knows a championship is overdue, according to fan standards. The general manager needs a quick answer to the situation behind the plate. Therefore, his solution may leave Sanchez out if he continues to disappoint. However, if he earns his job back, expect big things from the Yankees.