Top Five Bright Spots of the Yankees 2016 Season

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Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports /

1. The Emergence of the Sanchize

Even after a 1-for-26 slump, the Yankees 23-year-old rookie catcher was hitting .298/.373/.662 (168 OPS+) coming into Saturday’s game. He’s launched 20 home runs in 52 games and has a strong case for having the best first career month in major league history, winning both the American League Rookie of the Month and Player of the Month awards for August.

It’s rare for a player this young to suddenly be handed a major league starting catcher job, one of the more mentally and physically demanding positions in all of sports. What makes Sanchez’s sudden promotion in August even more amazing was the presence of one of the American League’s better backstops already on the roster in Brian McCann.

Even so, there is no question that the Yankees made the right move, as Sanchez has been excellent on both sides of the ball during his MLB debut. Aside from all the dingers, he’s shown excellent plate discipline, shut down the opposing running game with his cannon arm, and shown remarkable maturity in handling the pitching staff.

Maybe most importantly for the organization, Sanchez has become the dynamic face of the franchise New York has been missing since the end of the dynasty years. He’s a fun, marketable, home grown superstar that will keep fans interested and tuning in, even when the rebuilding club has its inevitable growing pains.