The Yankees of the Future: Catcher Edition


The Yankees have a rich history of backstops. They range from the historic career of Yogi Berra and his accolades (15 All-Star appearances 3 MVP’s) to the leadership achievements of Jorge Posada and Joe Girardi alike. A catcher has more opportunities than most other players to play a direct impact on the game. He calls the game for the pitcher, plays tough defense, and contributes offensively. It is no wonder that behind the successful seasons were great catchers.

In 2014 the Yankees locked up the next great catcher in Brian McCann for 5 years, $85-million. His seven All-Star appearances and five Silver Sluggers combined with the outstanding game calling had the Yankees throwing money at him. His numbers could only get better in the batter-friendly Yankee Stadium right?

Well…to say the least, his first season didn’t go as smoothly as planned. McCann struggled and finished with a .232/.286/.406 in a season that looked like he was caving under the immense pressure of New York expectations.

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In the event that McCann doesn’t become the catcher we thought we signed we have been grooming a few other catchers in the farms. Gary Sanchez will be starting this season off as the starting catcher for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre with Austin Romine behind him.

John Ryan Murphy beat Romine out last season in their limited show case which opened the door for him as the MLB backup to McCann in 2015. This is all possible because of the trade that sent Francisco Cervelli to the Pirates.

Sanchez is just 21 years-old and still developing his game. He had a .270 batting average with 13 home runs and 65 RBI’s in 477 plate appearances with Double-A Trenton in 2014. Sanchez showed flashes of just how high his ceiling could be but he will have to become consistent in order to become the next big Yankee catcher.

Scouts rave about Sanchez’s calm demeanor at the plate. He does not panic when he falls behind in the count and keeps his mechanics nice and tight with a smooth swing. Sanchez isn’t afraid to sit back and go with the pitch to right field. This veteran approach at the plate displays just what kind of hitter he can become if he can consistently put the bat on the ball.

The other catcher to keep an eye out for is Luis Torrens. He is only 18 years-old and probably won’t arrive to the show for some time. However, he has been raking his way through the minors and getting a lot of attention from across the league. In 2014 Torrens went from Rookie to Low-A Charleston with speed.

He was drafted as a shortstop out of Venezuela but the Yankees switched him to catcher. Torrens led the Rookie-Gulf Coast league by throwing out 45 percent of base stealers in 2013. His transition was smooth to say the least. However, he still needs to work on his receiving and foot work.

The organization isn’t worried because Torrens has proved he has the persistence to work hard to get where he wants to be. Scouts describe Torrens as a four tool player with a tremendous approach at the plate. He can be the heir to catcher if he is groomed properly.