We are heavy with the Yankees writing today here at Minor League Ball, turning our attention now to catching prospect Gary Sanchez. As I write this on Friday morning his promotion to the major leagues has yet to cross the official transaction wire, but all indications are that he'll be coming up from Triple-A later today.
Sanchez has been on prospect lists for years. He hit .274/.330/.485 last year in the high minors, then received a two at-bat peek in the majors. He opened 2016 in Triple-A again, hitting .288/.336/.541 for Scranton. He has little left to prove down there.
Here is his comment from the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book:
Gary Sanchez, C, New York Yankees
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-2 WT: 220 DOB: December 2, 1992
2010: Grade C+; 2011: Grade B+; 2012: Grade B+; 2013: Grade B+; 2014: Grade B+
2015: Grade B
2015 was a good year for Gary Sanchez. He got to his power more often, posting a 127 wRC+ in Double-A and a 145 wRC+ in Triple-A. He did this without any unsightly spikes in strikeout rates. He dominated the Arizona Fall League with a 156 wRC+. He threw out 36 percent of stealers, in line with his career norms, but also made impressive progress with his receiving skills, dramatically lowering his error and passed ball rates. There are no longer any doubts about his ability to catch. Best of all, he avoided the disciplinary concerns that hampered his stock with scouts in previous seasons, showing evidence that he is maturing emotionally. All this has restored his status as an elite prospect. Current word is that he will open 2016 as New York’s second catcher behind Brian McCann. His short-term fantasy value may be compromised by a part-time role, but in the medium and long terms he should pay off, provided he doesn’t go backwards with the makeup stuff or develop injury issues. Grade B+.
Service time issues likely resulted in his assignment to Triple-A to open the year but otherwise all of that still holds up. As noted above, he's hitting well, and he's fielding well too, throwing out 50% of base thieves for Scranton this spring.
We'll have to see how the Yankees choose to use him, but he clearly has the tools to be a regular and has made major progress developing the skills to make those tools work.
Here's some opposite field power.