For most of the 2020 season, Gary Sanchez has struggled. The New York Yankees‘ starting catcher has a .145/.253/.374 line with a .274 wOBA and a 69 wRC+ in 41 games and 150 plate appearances, and there is a good chance he finishes the season below the Mendoza line. That’s fine, though, because all indications are that the worst of the slump is already behind him. The Kraken is starting to break out of his funk.
Over his last seven games, the Yankees’ All-Star catcher is hitting a much better .250/.357/.583 with a .393 wOBA and a 151 wRC+.
Sanchez is being much more disciplined in the batter’s box, with a 10.7 BB% and a 17.9 K%, down from his 36.7 season mark.
He’s been hitting the ball with authority over those seven games, with a 91.5 mph average exit velocity. He also has two home runs, six runs and six RBI. Welcome back, Gary. We were waiting for you.
It’s nice to see Gary producing after all those bad at-bats of swinging at sliders in the dirt or fastballs at the eyes. But what changed?
The Yankees’ catcher went back to the basics
On Thursday, he had perhaps his best game of the season, with a double and a home run in the New York Yankees’ 10-7 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. He said, according to NJ.com, that the primary change he adopted was a different mindset.
“My goal was to really just go back to the basics and just hit the ball and put it in play,” he said. “I’m getting much better results”.
“It has been a lot of work with our hitting coaches and it’s finally showing up,” Sanchez said. “I’m very thankful for everybody here just giving me the opportunity to play and hit myself out of a bad funk.”
It took a while, but now, the Yankees appear on the verge of getting the full Kraken experience.
“It’s definitely a process,” Sanchez said. “That’s why playing is so important. The more games you play, the more chances you have to make the right adjustment and put all the work together and finally get going.
“Now I feel really good, so I’m hoping for good results to come.”