Friday, September 16, 2016


Going from a prized free agent signing and arguably one of the best catchers in baseball to essentially a backup catcher and DH cannot be something that’s easy to swallow if you're Brian McCann. To be a pro athlete you have to have at the very least, a little bit of an ego. You would have to have been successful at every level you’ve ever played at so the change can be very hurtful emotionally. But there are times that you get to witness something special. That’s what Brian McCann has seen over the past six weeks or so and he's being a true team player about it.

We all expected to see Gary Sanchez in pinstripes and to be there for a long time, but no one could have imagined that he would come to the Bronx as a rookie and accomplish what he has so far. 

I remember seeing his first big league hit, a line drive up the middle. I knew he was due up so I switched from the show my wife and I were watching and was lucky enough to see that big moment. Since then, it’s been pretty jaw dropping.

Brian McCann has had the opportunity to see it first hand too, and while it must be hard to literally lose playing time and at-bats, what Sanchez has done has impressed even him. And like the veteran and professional he is, he has accepted his new role. McCann recently spoke with MLB Network Radio and said some great things about Gary Sanchez. You gotta love this:

The team’s success since promoting Gary Sanchez can not be overlooked. They are now in the hunt for October and while there will still be growing pains, the future looks a heck of a lot brighter and McCann and the rest of the Yankees sure seem to see that.

Sanchez, who was signed at 16 years-old out of the Dominican Republic, has always been a highly touted prospect but has had his ups and downs. He struggled mightily in the spring and was beat out by Austin Romine for the backup catcher job, but by all accounts he's matured and improved his work ethic. We can all see where that has gotten him now, huh?. McCann even said Sanchez is the best he has seen in a long time:
That’s a heck of a lot of praise coming from a guy who essentially lost his starting job! It shows character. It shows me a lot about what the players, who know more than we do, see in Sanchez’s future as well as the maturity and team-first mentality.

Besides the big offensive numbers that are easy to see on paper and make the highlight reels, Sanchez has also been a stud behind the plate. He made a fantastic play to knock down a ball in the dirt last week with the tying run on third against the Blue Jays before Gardner made that leaping catch at the wall to seal the victory. He's thrown out 39% of base runners (9/23) and made a ridiculous throw from his knees to pick a runner off of second last Friday.
As the tweet says, the legend of Gary Sanchez continues to grow.

He almost certainly won’t maintain the streak he was on in August throughout his career and will have moments of brilliance and down times as well. Baseball is a game of failure after all. But what we do seem to have is a young man who has an above average set of tools and huge raw power, with good plate discipline that should allow him to be a rock in the Yankees lineup for many years to come.

It’s been fun to see him and the rest of the Baby Bombers play the last six or so weeks. But when you get a compliment from a true professional and a good ballplayer like Brian McCann, that really says a lot.

Gary Sanchez is truly special and the future looks better than ever for him on the New York Yankees big team.

--Dan Lucia, BYB Senior Writer
Follow me on Twitter: @DManLucia


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