What To Expect: Gary Sanchez

After a rough start to the year offensively, the Yankees’ bats have recently begun to awake from their early-spring slumber, the most recent evidence being three home runs on Thursday night against the Royals. That included an opposite-field blast for third baseman Chase Headley for his first extra-base hit of the year.

With the White Sox and lefties Chris Sale and Jose Quintana due up next on the docket however, management decided to bring in a little bit more righthanded thunder by summoning catcher Gary Sanchez from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.


The No. 2 prospect in the system behind only high Class A shortstop Jorge Mateo, Sanchez showed tons of improvement in all facets of the game over the course of last season. He sharpened his receiving and blocking and learned to better work with his pitching staff as well. That, coupled with a throwing arm that already ranked as a 70 or 80 on the 20-to-80 scouting scale, helped bolster his stock immensely.

His offensive numbers improved across the board once he was promoted out of Double-A Trenton, where he’d been since late in the 2013 season. The jump was so stark, in fact, that the Yankees rewarded Sanchez with a September callup to the majors. He went 0-for-2 in limited action and will hunt for his first big league hit this time around.

He continued his hot streak in the Arizona Fall League, where he hit .295/.357/.625 with seven home runs in 22 games.

When he’s ready to assume the everyday duties, scouts see a player who could be an offensive force. Twenty-five home runs annually with a respectable batting average isn’t out of the question, and his lightning-quick throwing arm will help him keep opposing running games in check.

The Yankees have been extremely patient with the 23-year-old Sanchez, whom they signed out the Dominican Republic in 2009. And even with some tantalizing targets on the table last summer, the Yankees refused to part with a player they consider among their very best prospects.


If you’re a fantasy player in a non-keeper league or one that lacks a minor league system, you probably don’t need to worry about grabbing Sanchez off the waiver wire. This is likely a short-term promotion with Brian McCann and Austin Romine still on the roster as the primary and backup catchers.

If you do have a keeper or minor league system, go ahead and snap up Sanchez, who very well could be the Yankees’ long-term answer behind the plate.

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