Top prospect Gary Sanchez is a name New York Yankee fans have been hearing for a long time. The Yankees signed him as a 17 year old as their top International free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2009 for $3 million.
Sanchez is the reason why New York traded Jose Montero another No. 1 catching prospect, though Montero never was able to develop the defensive skills to go with the offensive prowess. Sanchez on the other hand is better defensively and improved so much he is now considered an above average catching prospect.
Austin Romine and John Ryan Murphy at this point are ahead in the pecking order at catcher to be Major League ready. While Romine has taken a step back offensively, he is currently with Triple-A affiliate Scranton Wilkes-Barre, Murphy is backing up Brian McCann in the Bronx and in his limited time has done well. In just 27 AB's John is hitting .407 with one home run, five RBIs and an OPS of .963. Defensively he has thrown out 2 of 6 base runners and turned one double-play with a 1.000 fielding percentage.
ETA for Sanchez is 2015, but he will have to make greater strides offensively to get a crack at the Major League roster.
2012 was his best year offensively and in 2013 he struggled between Advanced-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton batting only .253 with 15 home runs. As the season dragged on Sanchez continued to struggle and slow down whether it was the rigors of catching everyday his usual potent bat took a nose dive.
Sanchez is a right-handed hitter who uses all fields and has plus power showing he could be a productive run producer and hit for over .300.
Mostly catchers aren't fleet of foot, but Gary is quick enough to steal you a couple of bases here and there and won't be a liability on the base paths.
Defensively he has a quick release and plus arm strength with remarkable accuracy which will make him an above average defensive catcher. Gary has quick feet and is athletic enough behind the plate, but he needs to work on calling a game and improving his English.
All the signs point to a potential All-Star Major League catcher who can hit in the middle of the lineup and carry a club offensively.
Sanchez this season has played 50 games with the Trenton Thunder and is hitting .253 with four home runs 23 RBIs and 13 walks.
If Sanchez is to be the eventual successor to Brian McCann everything will have to come together for him to become the Yankees' catcher of the future.
Also . . .
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- New York Yankees 2014 Top 20 Organizational Prospects; No. 17 Luis Torrens
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