Yankees second-half has arrived; who steps up?
Starting behind the plate: last season, the Yankees had little offensive worries coming from their All-Star catcher. The only dilemma coming from Gary Sanchez was his defensive abilities.
One season later and the worries come from both the offensive and defensive side of the baseball.
Not many would have expected a below .200 batting average from Sanchez following a season in which he hit .278 with 33 home runs and an OBP almost .100 higher than his batting average.
But here we are talking about Sanchez’s first-half struggles and how, if possible, he can he salvage what is left of this season.
Sanchez’s batting average peaked on May 25, in which he went 1-for-3 with a single and a walk against the Los Angeles Angels. Since that day, and before, for that matter, El Gary’s batting average has never been as high as that .234 mark. That’s not saying much. We all look upon Gary Sanchez, not as a .234 hitter, as I am sure he doesn’t either.
That statement is true in a few ways. Sanchez is not a .234 hitter; he is a .188 hitter as of Saturday’s win in the second leg of the Subway Series. Needless to say, Sanchez went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in that win.
Now a reminder, Sanchez is coming off a groin strain — only being reinstated to the active roster following the conclusion of the All-Star festivities.
The plethora of problems which have arisen for Sanchez can be seen when comparing his numbers from this campaign to last season, but after a whole half a year, Sanchez has yet to see any product as a result of a changed mindset at the plate, if any has occurred for The Kraken.
Still, having immense difficulty hitting changeups, sliders and curves, Sanchez has found himself in a hole against most pitchers.
Had Sanchez hit at the same level in 2018, we should expect an addition of three home runs, another 23 hits but only 16 more on base appearances, showing his increased walk rate in ’18.
Therefore, this season hasn’t been a total downward spiral for Sanchez who has improved at least in one part of his game, his plate discipline and plate vision.