Yankees Ranks: Top Five American League East Catchers

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

Gary Sanchez

Had Gary Sanchez come up sooner than August 4, he very well could be the leading candidate for AL Rookie of the Year. I mean a slash line of .299/.376/.657 with 22 HR and 42 RBI in only 53 games is absolutely astonishing–becoming the fastest player in the history of the game to hit 20 homers in 51 games is something else entirely.

Aside from bashing balls all over the United States and Canada, Sanchez showed the other tools a future All-Star catcher needs to possess at this level. He simply calls a really good game while excelling at blocking balls and throwing out would-be baserunners.

Once upon a time his defensive abilities were the one thing that kept scouts from saying he had a bright future behind the plate. Low and behold, after 71 games at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season, Sanchez came on the scene immediately drawing comparisons to a young Ivan Rodriguez for his astute defensive ability.

My only concern for Sanchez headed into his sophomore season will be the immense pressure he’ll be saddled with to replicate his historical start. I mean, what happens if he only hits .275 with 20 home runs and 65 RBI, do fans and media alike call him a bust?

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I surely hope not, because no other catcher in baseball has the potential to redefine the catcher position once again. Imagine a player with Mike Piazza‘s offense and Ivan Rodriguez‘s defense. That’s the type of 23-year-old player to lead the Yankees back to prominence. The skies the limit for Sanchez.