One thing the New York Yankees desperately need at the major league level is speed. Featuring Tyler Wade as their primary baserunner was not sustainable, especially since the team relies heavily on sluggers to drive-in runs. A bit more contact-hitting and great baserunning might go a long way in run production, which the team struggled with last year due to injury and inconsistencies.
Developing minor-league players seems to be the priority for the Yankees right now, especially considering their unwillingness to trade away some of the bigger prospects in exchange for established talent.
Last year, general manager Brian Cashman elected to deal Mike Ford to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for Dominican outfielder Aldenis Sanchez, who is currently 23 years old and beginning to make a name for himself in Low-A ball.
I’m REALLY excited to see what OF Aldenis Sanchez can do this season. He hit .368 between Tampa/FCL in ‘21 with a .985 OPS. One of the fastest players on the bases in the system as well. Here’s a swing via his IG. pic.twitter.com/1GxSK7PGsz
— Eli Fishman (@elijfishman) March 5, 2022
Sanchez is known for his unbelievable speed, recording 14 stolen bases in 28 games last season. In fact, he stole 13 bases in 23 games with the Yankees’ Tampa affiliate.
Over 80 at-bats, he recorded a .413 batting average with two homers and 14 RBIs. Since Sanchez is a bit older and just hitting the low portion of the minor leagues, we should expect him to make an appearance with Somerset this upcoming year after dominating in Tampa.
Sanchez isn’t known for his power capabilities, but he offers ‘on the fence’ defensive qualities, recording a .958 fielding percentage over 115 innings last season in left field but struggling in the other two outfield spots. It is clear his preferred position is in LF, recording one error in 2021.
Containing elite speed and base-running capabilities, he could end up becoming a steal from Tampa in the future, but his age indicates he must begin taking significant jumps, or he’s in danger of simply aging out of the farm system. With the current CBA indicating a player must serve six years at the major league level before becoming a free agent, Sanchez needs to get on his horse before he breaches the 30-year-old mark to hit the open market.