Yankees: Will Gary Sanchez get back on track in 2019?
One of the biggest let downs this past season was Gary Sanchez. Sanchez came storming into the majors and began to emerge as a potential star. However, in 2018, the Yankees watched their starting catcher take a precipitous fall.
Gary Sanchez is a huge question mark going into the 2019 season. He was by far the biggest disappointment for the Yankees this past year.
Yankee fans are hoping that Sanchez gets on track towards becoming the star he showed when he first joined the ball club in 2017. General manager Brian Cashman already said that Sanchez is the starting catcher next season, and he is not on the market, so what should we expect from Sanchez moving forward?
There are some fans that want Sanchez gone after this previous down season. Others feel that El Gary has way too much upside to trade him this early into his career — especially after the early prodigious numbers he put up when he first joined the ball club.
Several teams have already reached out to Cashman about a potential trade for Sanchez. Though it is highly unlikely, if a club offers up a deal that Cashman can’t refuse, then as Cash has shown, anything is possible.
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On pure potential, it would be tough for Cashman to get rid of Sanchez after only two and a half seasons. When The Kraken is locked in, he can single-handedly take over a ball game. Outside of Aaron Judge, he was one of the few Yankees to produce in the playoffs. Sanchez also battling numerous injuries for a good part of the season, and it was tough for him to get into a rhythm. Also, who would be a possible replacement for Sanchez? There are very few catchers in the league that are capable of doing what Sanchez can at the plate.
There were talks about a possible offseason trade between the Yankees and the Marlins, where Sanchez would be dealt to the Marlins for J.T. Realmuto. Realmuto is a terrific defensive catcher. On top of that, he had a .277 average this year and added 21 homers.
Realmuto also has a good track record of staying healthy. Minus his rookie season, Realmuto has played in at least 120 games during his five-year major league career. This trade most likely won’t happen, but it is something to keep an eye on.
The Yanks are coming off a historic campaign breaking the single-season team home run record.
However, that did not work out too well for them in the playoffs. Sometimes the Yanks rely too much on the long ball, as they had countless missed opportunities against the Red Sox in the ALDS. A number of times, what could have been big innings ended with runners left on base in crucial moments.
Realmuto is a guy that hits for average and would level out the Yanks lineup. Don’t sleep on his power either. His home run total has increased every year since coming to the majors in 2014.
Regardless, Sanchez is going to have to work hard in the offseason. There was little to no improvement regarding his defensive proficiency this season as Sanchez led the league in passed balls again with 18 in 653 innings. Not to mention he only played half the season.
It’s tough to watch Sanchez struggle behind the plate a time. There were too many instances where Sanchez was crossed up because of some sort of miscommunication — which is hard to swallow, especially with men on base.
Luckily, Sanchez is still a young catcher and has a cannon for an arm. Hopefully, he can evolve as a better overall defensive catcher in the offseason. However, how long will the Yankees give him to grow into his potential?
Despite Sanchez’s .186 average, his power was still there. He slugged 18 homers in only 89 games played. Sanchez also hit the ball extremely hard this year but caught a lot of unlucky breaks. Sanchez had a 90.3 average exit velocity which was above the league average.
The more Sanchez struggled at the plate, the more he tried to do. He started to get away from the basics. El Gary began to overswing and chased balls, which should be an easy fix. Sanchez is going to have to work hard to prove the doubters wrong, that he is unable to overcome some lazy tendencies.
If Cashman did decide to move Sanchez, then now is the best time. Despite the horrific season, his stock is still very high. I’m all for sticking with Sanchez, but he should have a short leash. The Yanks need Sanchez to be motivated. He can’t have a repeat of this past season. We’ll see how this plays out.