New York Yankeesâ€™ catcher Gary Sanchez is trying to prove that last season is buried in the past, and wants to show off his offseason work and some adjustments he made to demonstrate on the field that he is one of the best hitting catchers of his generation.
Last year, his batting average was .147, his wRC+ was 68, and his strikeout percentage was a career-high 36%. Those numbers, and his suspect defensive performance, contributed to his benching for the Yankeesâ€™ postseason, in favor of Kyle Higashioka.
In the Yankeesâ€™ second game of spring training, on Monday against the Detroit Tigers, the Bombers had Sanchez catch ace Gerrit Cole. By now, Coleâ€™s preference for pitching to Higashioka is well-documented, but New York wants to foster the Cole-Sanchez tandem.
Cole did allow a run in his inning of work, but most of the hits against him were of the soft-contact variety.
The Yankees’ catcher hit it a mile
If you want hard contact, perhaps you should look at this home run by Sanchez. It was an impressive shot:
Sanchezâ€™s dinger came in the bottom of the third inning as the Yankees were down 3-0. He made it a 3-1 game as he murdered a fastball and sent it over a huge black wall in dead center field, showcasing the kind of power that the Yankeesâ€™ know he is capable of.
Amid controversies between the Yankees and Sanchez because the former reportedly didnâ€™t tell the latter they were sending him to the bench as the team advanced through last yearâ€™s postseason, the relationship between the two parties got a little weird, to the point he was, at one point, a possibility to be non-tendered a contract.
Thankfully, it all appears to be in the past now, and Sanchez is eager to show that he can return to being a power threat while going back to his 100+ wRC+ ways.