Yankees: Luke Voit defends Gary Sanchez, says he “hit for hours” at the team facility after the Rays series

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez
Mar 31, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) reacts after a strikeout during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

By now, everybody knows, even those that aren’t fans of the New York Yankees, that catcher Gary Sanchez had a 2020 to forget. Yes, he provided his usual power output with 10 home runs, but his batting average collapsed all the way to .147, he struck out in 36 percent of his plate appearances (a career high) and his wRC+ plummeted to 69.

He was benched for most of the playoffs in favor of Kyle Higashioka, a career backup that is a superior defensive option to Sanchez. The New York Yankees decided to tender Sanchez a contract, but what they will do with him remains unclear. There are rumors around the baseball universe that the Bombers are willing to listen to offers on him, but his trade value may be limited.

However, for all his struggles, two realities about Sanchez can’t be denied. One is that he remains one of the catchers with the most offensive potential in the major leagues. He surpassed 30 home runs as recently as 2019, and has been highly productive in the past. And the other is that he doesn’t want to be bad at hitting. He’s working to improve.

The Yankees’ catcher is getting some reps, wants to prove a point

Sanchez is currently playing with Toros del Este in the Dominican Republic, and after a rough first game, he has been a force at the plate, with two doubles and a couple of homers to his name in his first five games.

But Luke Voit, the Yankees’ first baseman, is an eye witness of how hard Sanchez works to hone his craft.

Shortly after the Yankees were eliminated by the Tampa Bay Rays, Sanchez got right to work at the club’s player development complex in Tampa.

“He was coming to the facility before he came down and he was literally hitting for hours and hours at a time with both of our hitting coaches,” Voit said of Sanchez during a phone interview with NJ Advance Media this week. “He’s got something to prove.”

The fact that he is playing winter ball so early is an indicative of how much the Yankees want him to get in a rhythm at the plate. He clearly has some unfinished business in the Bronx. Will he get the chance of proving his worth in a Yankees’ uniform?

Mentioned in this article:

More about: