Is This Year Make or Break For Gary Sanchez?
Gary Sanchez is the most frustrating player on the Yankees. He has the ability to be an MVP candidate, but half of the time it does not even seem like he is putting in any effort. With injuries plaguing him and his stats declining, is it only a matter of time before the Yankees move on from Gar-Bear? Gary came into the league with a bang in 2016 coming in second place in the AL Rookie of the Year voting to Michael Fulmer who has also declined since then. In that 2016 season, Gary hit .299 with 20 HR 42 RBI, and a 1.032 OPS in ONLY 52 games. Yes, you read that correctly, Gary Sanchez put up an above-average seasons worth of production from an MLB catcher in just 52 games. The sky appeared to be the limit for Gary, and us Yankee fans thought we had our next Jorge Posada. In 2017 Gary was an All-Star putting up very solid numbers hitting .278 with 33 homers and 90 RBI. However, in 2017 that year's playoffs were a warning sign of Gary's laziness on defense as past balls were flying all over the place. 2018 was brutal for Gary. He was injured for about half the year and even when he was healthy he hit an abysmal .186 and his defense was not much better. His year was highlighted by a moment in July against the Rays. With the bases loaded and two outs and the Yanks down by one, Gary hit a ball up the middle and the Rays tried to step on the bag at second for a force, but Hicks won a footrace to the bag. Gary, dogging it, was watching the play unfold and did his best impersonation of the fat kid in gym class who has to run the mile even though they do not want to. He was thrown out at first base by more than a step and the Yanks lost. Gary then went on to be the boy who cried groin injury as he pleaded in the post-game presser he was injured on the play. He then took a few weeks on the DL to either heal an injured groin or save face. 2019 was an improvement from 2018 but a general downgrade from his first two years in the bigs. His defense improved slightly in terms of his blocking and his average increased to a whopping .232 accompanied by 34 bombs and 77 RBI. He was somewhat worthless in the playoffs and it became clear Gary is a streaky hitter. When he is hot, he is HOT, but when the going gets rough he expands the zone and is basically an automatic out. 2020, though it will be shortened, is a big year for Gary. It is obvious he can hit for power, it is obvious he has a hose for an arm, and we all know there is no scarier hitter in baseball when he is hot seeing his exit velocity is always in the top five for players year in and year out. The issue with Gary will be his health and consistency. I think everyone would be fine with an average around .250 if his power numbers stay the same and he is showing effort on defense. However, the bottom line is in these next few years the Yankees will be in win-now mode. If he is not the best guy for them or if they can make their team better by dealing him, it would not shock me if they dealt him. Gary needs to give Cashman a reason to want to hold onto him. Your move Gary. -The Commish