22-Year-Old Catcher – New York Yankees
2015 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
Sanchez feels like he has been on the prospect landscape forever. Yet, he will only be 22 years old when he presumably gets his first taste of Triple-A at some point in the 2015 season. That said, 201...
Sanchez was optioned to Double-A Trenton on Tuesday, Wallace Matthews of ESPN reports.
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New York Yankees Roster
MajorsAmundaray, Jonathan (OF)
AAAAngelini, Carmen (SS)
AABarbato, Johnny (P)
A+Allen, Scott (P)
RookieAnderson, Jake (OF)
Gary Sanchez: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Sanchez is likely the Yankees' No. 1 prospect again thanks in part to a disappointing 2013 season from Mason Williams. He's shown good power throughout his minor league career and held his own in a 23-game stint with Double-A Trenton late in 2013. It seems unlikely that Sanchez will stick behind the plate, and he still needs to develop more discipline as a hitter, but there's a ton of upside in his bat, even if he ends up as a first baseman. The Yankees will have more time to sort out their plan with Sanchez after signing Brian McCann to a long-term deal during the offseason.
Sanchez seemed to put the attitude issues that plagued him in 2011 behind him, and put together a very solid season in 2012, hitting .290 with 18 homers across two levels. Sanchez has huge raw power that is starting to show in games, and while he needs to make a few mechanical adjustments to make his swing more efficient, the hit tool definitely appears to be there. Behind the plate, Sanchez has a good arm, but he's not terribly agile and it's still an open question as to whether he'll stick at catcher for the long term. Sanchez is still young for the level he's playing at, and regardless of whether he stays at catcher or not, he should be an impact bat in the majors with an ETA of 2015.
Sanchez came into the season at Low-A Charleston with very high expectations, and when he got off to a slow start, Sanchez was sent back to Tampa in early June to get his mind right. He was a different player after returning to Charleston, putting up seven homers in a nine-game stretch in late July through early August, and twice winning South Atlantic League Player of the Week honors. Sanchez shows fantastic power, but continues to struggle with his defense, though he has an excellent arm behind the plate. Sanchez remains a top-50 prospect on most lists, and 2012 will be a key year in his development as he faces more advanced pitching at High-A and demonstrates whether he'll be able to remain behind the plate. He's got the hitting tools to be worth picking up in your minor league draft regardless of where he ends up playing, though.
Despite not turning 18 until after the season, Sanchez hit .329/.393/.543 between the rookie league Yankees and short-season Staten Island. He obviously still needs a lot of development, but he has the physical tools to be a good backstop, and scouts believe he has above-average power to all fields. Add his name to the impressive array of minor league catching talent the Yankees have assembled.