Yankees: Has Gary Sánchez Become Under Appreciated?

May 16, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) hits a single against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
May 16, 2017; Kansas City, MO, USA; New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) hits a single against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /

Almost every Yankees fan can remember the incredible run that Gary Sánchez went on at the end of the 2016 season.  Many fans were ready to fight over the fact that he should have been named the Rookie of the Year.  It seemed like there was about to be a Gary Sánchez era in the Bronx.

The Yankees catcher, GarySánchez, was called up to the majors on August 2, 2016.  He would go on one of the most historic runs by a rookie.  Finishing the season with a .299 (60-for-201) batting average, 20 home runs, and 42 RBI’s.

Unfortunately, this historic performance did not translate into an AL Rookie of the Year Award for Sánchez, but instead, it was awarded to a very deserving Michael Fulmer of the Detroit Tigers.

To say the least, Yankees fans were excited at the idea that Gary Sanchez would be the next superstar that the fan base had been looking for since Derek Jeter retired.  Anyone who attended a game at the end of last season can probably attest to the incredible amount of hope that Sánchez brought to the Yankees.

Judge-ment Day Comes in the Bronx

When the fans packed into Yankee Stadium on opening day, with the hopes of seeing their new favorite Yankees, Gary Sánchez, evident by all the number 24 jerseys you could see when scanning the crowd.  All of the sudden, the fans realized that they had something entirely different to cheer for this season.

When Aaron Judge stepped up to the plate on opening day, the Yankee faithful knew immediately that this 6 foot 7, 282-pound rookie would be the center of attention this year, and for years to come.  How could this behemoth of a baseball player not catch the attention of every fan?

Judge has gotten off to arguably the best start in baseball this year.  He is batting .326 (57-for-175), with 17 home runs, and 38 RBI’s.  People thought that he was going to be good, but no one could have predicted this monumental output by the rookie, who had substantial woes at the plate last season.

In a Gigantic Shadow

Ever since Aaron Judge hit his first home run this spring training, it was clear that the attention was turning to him, and the fan base was quickly forgetting what Sánchez did for them in 2016.  Sánchez has begun to live in Aaron Judge’s shadow in New York this year, as he struggled early in the season and Judge exploded onto the scene.

More from Yanks Go Yard

Sánchez got off to a very rocky start to the 2017 season, and fans immediately began asking questions about what happened to the Gary Sánchez of last year.

Then Sánchez hit some rough water when he came down with a right biceps injury that would land him with a DL stint from April 9th to May 5th.

Sánchez’s time on the DL seems to have polarized him even more from Yankees fans, putting Sánchez even more in the shadows, as they were fascinated with the rise of superstar Aaron Judge.

When Sánchez returned from the DL, he seemed to be an afterthought to most Yankees fans who were now totally engrossed with Judge.

Two Home Runs?

After seeing Sánchez’s two home run performance last night, it reminded me that Yankee fans need to remember how much potential this guy has.  Although he has been in a slump and on the DL for the better part of this season, it is still worth noting that he is batting .270 (27-for-100), with six home runs, and 15 RBI’s.

Video courtesy of the YES Network

This would be a great stat line for any player in the MLB who doesn’t have unbelievably high expectations attached to them, like Sánchez.  We all know the kind of player Sánchez can be both regarding his power and his fielding capabilities.  All you need to do now is just trust that his game will return to form.

Sánchez seems to be coming into his true form again; this could turn out to be one of the most dynamic duos in all of baseball, with Judge and Sánchez batting back-to-back in the lineup.

Next: Is Chase Headley on the way out in New York?

Look for Sánchez to go on a hot streak in the coming games.  If Sánchez is successful in getting back to the form that almost landed him rookie of the year, then the rest of the league should watch out.  The Yankees are coming, and they don’t care who is in the way.