With Spring training being only a few weeks away, Bleeding Yankee Blue is continuing this series . highlighting the kids that are vying for a coveted spot on the major league roster. We are going over their respective backgrounds – how they have been playing, their strengths, their weaknesses, and what to look for.
Gary Sanchez is a top catcher prospect, and has been a Top 50 Prospect on most major baseball prospect rankings. His claim to fame is his bat, which is so impressive that most people believe that he is ready for the Major Leagues this year. He spent the entirety of last season with the AA Trenton Thunder, and put up a slash line of .270/.338/.406, with a .743 OPS. He is a power threat with a decent average, with one quarter of his hits going for extra bases, including 13 home runs.
His defense is a mixed bag, with both assets and liabilities. He has a very strong throwing arm, throwing out 39% of base stealers in both years with Trenton. His fielding percentage in Trenton was an exceptional .980. However, his ability to call games and block the plate has been a concern, though they have seen improvement. Still, his defensive abilities are respectable and could be Major League-worthy.
Sanchez’ biggest problem is the list of guys in front of him. Brian McCann is the established catcher, and his offense and defense are both good. There is the occasional rumor that McCann may move to first as his primary position eventually, but there is still J.R. Murphy and Austin Romine, both of whom have a lot of potential. If his bat is good enough, he may force the Yankees to move him to another position in the field.
To that end, expect to see two things from the Yankees in regards to Gary Sanchez. First, they will want to see how well he swings the bat against major leaguers. If the power threat is there, it will force the Yankees to decide what to do with him. Second, it should not surprise anyone if the Yankees try him out at another position – perhaps first base or the outfield.
Having a kid with a power bat, forcing the team to put him *somewhere*, and having that kid be at least a backup at multiple positions, is a nice problem to have.
--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Senior Staff Writer
My blog is: Shots from Murderer's Row
You've made BYB the fastest growing Yankees fan site in history. Now shop at the Bleeding Yankee Blue store! Follow me on Twitter @BleednYankeeBlu and LIKE Bleeding Yankee Blue on Facebook! Also, don't forget to check out the BYB Hub!