New York Yankees: Gary Sanchez’s 2016 Season Can Be a Promising Sign for 2020

Gary Sanchez #24 of the NY Yankees - (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Gary Sanchez #24 of the NY Yankees - (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

If the New York Yankees get 2016 production from Gary Sanchez in 2020, watch out.

In 2016, Gary Sanchez played 53 games in the regular season for the New York Yankees. His first stint in New York was a short one in May, but his second one in August was the one that paved the way for him to be the full-time catcher.

Sanchez finished with a slash line of .299/.376/.657 in 2016 with 12 doubles, 20 home runs and 42 RBI. He finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting that year despite playing mostly the final two months of the regular season.

In his first 23 games in Pinstripes, he clubbed 11 home runs and had 31 hits. He earned two American League Player of Week honors in August and then took home the Rookie of Month Award. He picked up in September where he left off the month before, and blasted nine more home runs. He hit numbers 18 and 19 late in the month to become the fastest player to reach 19 home runs.

Over the last two years, health has been a major issue for him. He missed 73 games in 2018 with a groin injury, and then 56 more last season with groin and calf injuries. With Major League Baseball and the Players Association coming together last week on an agreement to begin a 60-game 2020 season that was suspended on March 12 during the coronavirus pandemic at the end of July, could a shortened season be what Sanchez and the Yankees need?

The Yankees would take a repeat performance this season echoing the one they got four years ago from Sanchez, with Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks appearing ready to go from their injuries that would have cost them the beginning of the season in 2020 had it started on time. With Hicks, Stanton and Judge returning from injuries and staying healthy, and Sanchez being healthy and productive, the Yankees lineup would look far deeper.

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The Yankees are favorites going into a shortened 2020 season to not only to win the American League East Division, but also the AL pennant. They have one of the game’s best lineups that should be able to beat up on opposing pitching. If Sanchez can stay healthy and put up somewhere close to the numbers he did in two months in 2016, the Yankees offense will be all that more dangerous.