1. Gary Sanchez (C)
Is Gary Sanchez what we thought Jesus Montero would be? Looking at the surface stats, you’d have to say no as a 75% contact rate and an 8% walk rate doesn’t scream future stud. However, stats can be deceiving and I think Sanchez has a chance to be very special.
Sanchez has a classic right handed home run swing. It’s leveraged with tremendous bat speed while taking advantage of his lower half. While I don’t believe he’ll be a .300 hitter, I’m also convinced that he will not be a .240 hitter either. The reason is great hand-eye coordination that helps compensate for his long swing. He has the ability to alter his swing in mid-flight and still make contact. That’s a very difficult skill to accomplish and from what I can see, he has that ability.
How much power? I think it’s 70 grade raw-power that could translate into 30+ home runs at the highest level. Remember, he was 19 years old in the Florida State League and managed to hit 18 home runs between Low-A and High-A. He could very well join Austin, Heathcott, and Williams (assuming he recovers from Labrum surgery) in Double-A Trenton to start the 2013 season and be one of the youngest players in that league.
The other big question that I get asked about Gary Sanchez is will he remain a catcher? A year ago, I would have said no, but when I saw him play in 2012, there has been improvement. So much improvement that I believe he has good chance to be the catcher of the future for the Yankees. If not, I think he will profile very well at first base; which candidly is the position that I ultimately believe Jesus Montero will eventually play.
Fantasy Impact: I’m all in on Gary Sanchez. Yes, I’m bucking the trend, but I like what I see and believe he’s an elite prospect with tremendous upside. There is risk as he’s still very young and catchers take longer to develop, but after Travis d’Arnaud, he’s the best catching prospect in the minors and a Top 30 overall prospect in my book.
2. Mason Williams (OF)
3. Tyler Austin (OF)
4. Slade Heathcott (OF)
5. Angelo Gumbs (2B)
6. Manny Banuelos (LHP)
7. Ty Hensley (RHP)
8. Jose Campos (RHP)
9. Mark Montgomery (RHP)
10. Dante Bichette (3B)