Yankees: Fan Base Needs To Be Patient With Gary Sanchez
The Yankee brass, as well as fans alike, have been saying the right things regarding their young players and prospects. Words such as “patience” and “development” come to mind. As much as we’d all love to see our beloved Bombers compete for a title, most know it takes time to nurture a core of young talent. One such player has seemingly already arrived.
By all accounts, Gary Sanchez had a phenomenal start to his career. In a mere 201 at-bats, Sanchez slugged 20 home runs. He had 42 RBI in just 53 games, which marked a historic beginning of a new era in Yankees history.
That’s just his offensive numbers. When behind the plate, the rookie catcher threw out 41% of would-be base stealers. With Brian McCann traded to Houston, Sanchez now has the job all to himself. With his strong arm and quick release, the Yankees may have found that rare catcher who can hit and play defense.
However, we must remember that with all he accomplished, he still has only 55 games in the majors. While most teams would clamor for a catcher who could hit 20 home runs over a full year, Sanchez did it in two months. The pace he was on seemed unreal. Most likely it seemed that way because it is.
Yankees Expect Sanchez To Be Tested
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This coming season, Sanchez will be tested. Opposing teams will gather as much info from scouts as to what, if any weaknesses they can find. Opposing baserunners will test him. There is a good chance unless Matt Holliday can provide some protection in the middle of the lineup, due to the possibility that Sanchez may struggle even to see a decent pitch. It’s all part of the learning curve.
Have no fear, though. The young catcher for all practical purposes seems like the real deal. He just has never endured a prolonged slump. Not at the major league level, yet. Is it going to happen eventually? Of course, it happens to all the greats.
Patience, Patience, Patience
To keep him playing at a high level, though, the Yankees and their fans need to be patient with him as well. To expect an entire season like the last two months of 2016 is probably too much to ask. Though he almost carried the team to the wild card, he’s only 24. A slow start is no reason to compare him to the likes of Kevin Maas or Shane Spencer.
Next: Should Gary Sanchez Play In The WBC
If Gary Sanchez were to hit around .280 with 30 home runs, that should be considered a success. Though not on pace with his beginning, reasonable minds would never think it a letdown. Sure, we got intoxicated with his nearly home run a game pace. Now it’s time to let him grow from April to September. Hopefully one day we’ll see him in pinstripes, playing in late October.