Should Gary Sanchez Win the Player of the Month Award?

New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez got off to a rough start in 2021. While Sanchez had the reputation of being inconsistent, his terrible 2020 combined with a poor performance at the beginning of 2021 made it seem like he was becoming more consistent–consistently bad, that is. Sanchez hit a measly .147 in 2020 and through the first two months of 2021, he was not faring much better, still only hitting .202. 

However, this past month Sanchez has completely flipped the script. He has a monstrous .280/.357/.640 slash line and has hit seven home runs in June thus far. His incredible month of June is among the best in the American League and surely will give him consideration for the AL Player of the Month Award. Thanks to this fantastic stretch, Sanchez’s overall numbers are a very respectable .232/.341/.479 with 13 home runs, and those numbers rank him up with the best catchers in the American League.

Will Gary Win Player of the Month?

There is no doubt that Gary Sanchez had a great month, but the short answer is no, he will not win the AL Player of the Month Award. Sanchez is only 16th in fWar in the American League for the month of June, and there are simply many players around the league that have had otherworldly months. Players like Matt Olson, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and Cedric Mullins have all posted better slash lines and a higher fWar than Sanchez has. But it’s not like any of the aforementioned players have a chance either when Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit .382/.471/.787 (!)  with 10 home runs. 

Who Will Win Player of the Month?

The winner of the award is actually quite clear, but it is not even Guerrero. The winner will most likely be Los Angeles Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani. In June so far, Ohtani has slugged .853. In case you are not super familiar with sabermetrics, that is a stupidly high slugging percentage. If your entire OPS was .853 you would be considered a good player. For bookkeeping’s sake, Ohtani’s full slash line in June so far is .307/.429/.853. 

Simply put, Ohtani outhit the entire league and is most deserving of the Player of the Month Award. But wait, Ohtani also pitched. In four June starts Ohtani had a 2.35 ERA. He is the player of the month; there really isn’t any other way to see it. Ohtani is truly a freak of nature and is well on his way to having one of the best seasons in baseball history. 

Final Thoughts:

Gary Sanchez may not be the favorite to win the AL Player of the Month award, but his hot month has vaulted his numbers into respectability. There is a solid argument for Sanchez to be the American Leagues starting catcher in the All-Star Game; however, due to the extremely flawed voting system, he is not even a finalist at the position. Pathetic Astros fans flooded the ballot and got their .173 hitting, 0.0 bWar catcher, Martin Maldonado, into the final phase of voting. Sanchez still has a solid chance of making it on the team as a reserve by way of the player vote.

 

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