Is Gary Sanchez A Bust?
Updated: May 17
New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez played his first game of his career on October 3rd, 2015. Sanchez would end up only playing one more, ending the season hitless though two career games with a batting average of .000. It is common for players not to get a hit in even five, six or even seven straight games. In 2016 he would play 53 games, batting .299 at seasons end, Gary Sanchez looked like a very promising player, but he hadn't even played a half of a regular MLB season (81/162 games) in 2017 he would get his chance. The 2017 MLB season was one of the best for the Yankees in recent years as they went deep into the playoffs only to be elimated by the then cheating Huston Astros in the ALCS who would win the Would Series later on against the Dodgers. Gary Sanchez played 122 games that year, well over the half, 2017 Gary Sanchez made a name for himself, batting .278 with 131 hits/525 at bats along with 33 home runs, which allowed him to be in the Home Run Derby that season, and 90 RBIs at seasons end. Gary Sanchez won the Silver Slugger, made the AL All Star Team and finished 22nd in MVP voting. 2017 is so far the best year he has had, since then his stats have declined rapidly.
The 2018 season comes and goes, Yankees make the playoffs only to lose early on. Gary Sanchez only played 89 games, only 8 more of what would be considered a partial season, this was due to a groin injury where he was out for several games and kept splitting the schedule with back up catcher Austin Romine. Sanchez had a horrible season stat wise, batting .186, below the Mendoza line, defense wise he led in most passed balls in the league and was criticized several times for not showing effort. 2019 would be an up year for Gary, it seemed like he was back to his old self. In 106 games he had a .232 batting average (92/396) with 34 home runs (career high, passing 33) and was invited to the All Star Game for the second time in his career.
Everything looked up for Gary going into 2020, fate had other plans. The 2020 MLB season was delayed several weeks and shortened to just 60 games due to the Coronavirus. Gary Sanchez entered the season in a slump and never got out of it as he was replaced by Kyle Higashioka, due to that he would only play 49 out of the 60 games as he was benched in September. Sanchez only had 23 hits in 156 at bats, with that was 64 strike outs, he had almost three times the amount of strikeouts then hits, that gave him a 76% strikeout rate on the season which meant that every at bat he had, he had a 24% chance of ending that with a strike three. Sanchez did have 10 homers on the season, which means 10 out of the 23 times he hit the ball resulted in a home run, giving him a 43% home run to hit ratio on the season, the best in the Majors. At the end of the season though Gary Sanchez had a .147 BA, bringing his career average to .236 .
There were questions if the Yankees would keep him for 2021, and those questions were answered yesterday as the Yankees tender him to a contract.
So...Is Gary Sanchez a bust? he is supposed to be in his prime and he has not much to show for his 6 years/142 games in the majors. As of right now, I wouldn't consider Gary Sanchez a bust, if anything a very overrated player that under preforms, and with 2021 coming most likely Kyle Higashioka will be the starting catcher so Gary Sanchez will have a lot to prove with little time to do it.