Gary Sanchez Is Clobbering Baseballs

jon abbey

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It is absolutely amazing that until very recently a large part of the baseball world didn't think he'd ever be able to handle the position at the major league level. That arm is just insane
The one defensive issue I have seen so far is that he occasionally has lapses in concentration in non-big moments and lets more pitches get by him than he should. On the flip side, though, he made a game-saving block earlier this week against Toronto (bases loaded, 7-6 in the 9th) which was very impressive:

http://mediadownloads.mlb.com/mlbam/mp4/2016/09/07/1145489783/1473216462590/asset_1200K.mp4
 

Wingack

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It is absolutely amazing that until very recently a large part of the baseball world didn't think he'd ever be able to handle the position at the major league level. That arm is just insane
That arm must have always been there, along with the power potential, and was why he got such a payday at 16. But maybe he has gotten much more accurate.
 

jon abbey

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He homered again today, and he almost had a second on the first pitch of an attempted intentional walk in the 8th. The pitcher left it too close to the plate (a 52 MPH floater) and he hit it to the wall in center for a sacrifice fly, provoking a shoutout from Yogi Berra's granddaughter (who is a sportswriter, didn't know that):

 

crow216

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It always seems like when it's going well for a player, everything is going well. He looks extremely comfortable out there in a way that I don't remember ever seeing in a young kid. He doesn't look like he's ever trying to overcompensate and even on that swing against the intentional walk, it didn't look like he planned to hit it as much as he swung at a pitch that he didn't expect to be hittable.
 

jon abbey

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The game calling might be the most impressive thing, he honestly seemed better than McCann almost immediately. It makes sense that he'd work well with guys he's caught in the minors like Cessa and Green, but yesterday Tanaka tied his career high in Ks (10) with Sanchez calling the game.
 

Sampo Gida

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It is absolutely amazing that until very recently a large part of the baseball world didn't think he'd ever be able to handle the position at the major league level. That arm is just insane
I'm not sure that' s true, although I guess it depends on how you define recently. In 2012 at 19, he had trouble with breaking pitches, blocking and a slow release. Pretty much every 19 yo is a work in progress behind the plate. By 2014 though BA said "said he “still needs to work on blocking balls,” but his “arm has been rated as high as an 80 by some scouts.” And, for the first time, he “took charge behind the plate and was handling staffs with much more authority than in years past.”

Pretty good article here charting his progress

http://riveraveblues.com/2016/01/measuring-the-improvement-of-gary-sanchezs-defense-132452/
 

Sampo Gida

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The game calling might be the most impressive thing, he honestly seemed better than McCann almost immediately. It makes sense that he'd work well with guys he's caught in the minors like Cessa and Green, but yesterday Tanaka tied his career high in Ks (10) with Sanchez calling the game.
You really think Tanaka is not calling his own game?. I mean, Gary may throw down the signs, but Tanaka decides what to throw. Now some of the other guys like Cessa, Green and Mitchell , Gary is probably in the drivers seat as to what gets thrown. I'm really not sure how any fan can assess a Catchers pitch calling anyways. I know experienced catchers are pretty good at reading a hitter, and seeing what he is looking for based on his reactions. Maybe Gary has that, but damned if I know.

Tanaka has been CY Young quality for much of the year. Rays are 2nd in the AL in K's and Timmons has a huge strike zone. Perfect storm for a high K night.
 

gtmtnbiker

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Sanchez hit #15 off David Price. It was a no doubter over the Monster on an inside fastball. He really turned on it quickly.
 

jon abbey

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Today Sanchez came up in the 7th of a 2-2 game with runners on 2nd and 3rd and 2 outs. Mound conference where they inexplicably decide not to intentionally walk him (Billy Butler is pretty scary admittedly) and presumably decide to just throw him pitches out of the strike zone and then pitch to Butler. But Boxberger throws a slider too close on the first pitch, and boom, #17, 5-2.

Boxberger on Sanchez HR: "first-pitch slider against me is probably not in the scouting report. So to do what he did was pretty impressive."

 

jon abbey

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No one's ever had one to start a career before, he set the record for fewest games to both 18 and 19 HRs tonight.
 

jon abbey

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You have to mention him in RoY discussions. Was he anything like this in the minors?
He always had the ability, signed for $3M at 16 and on top 100 prospect lists since 2011, but he never showed this kind of consistent power in the minors. Maybe he was focusing too much on getting better defensively, maybe he was bored in the minors as we occasionally hear about top prospects, maybe he's just blossomed at 23, who knows.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.cgi?id=sanche001gar
 

jon abbey

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Also the top two Yankee minor league teams, Scranton and Trenton, play in pitcher's parks so maybe that is a bit of it also.
 

Fishy1

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You have to mention him in RoY discussions. Was he anything like this in the minors?
This year he hit 10 home runs in 313 PA at AAA, for a pedestrian .468 SLG%. The highest SLG% he's posted at any level? .597 in rookie ball in 2010. His SLG% right now is .747. This is bonkers.


That was before, of course, he hit another fucking homer.
 

foulkehampshire

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He's not even hitting cheap ones either.

I don't think it's crazy to think the AL record for HR's by a catcher (35, I-Rod) would be in jeopardy if they keep giving him reps at DH.
 

Wingack

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He's not even hitting cheap ones either.

I don't think it's crazy to think the AL record for HR's by a catcher (35, I-Rod) would be in jeopardy if they keep giving him reps at DH.
That has actually been the most impressive thing to me, he may have eeked one or two over the rightfield wall at Yankee Stadium, but he has been hitting absolute rocket shots in baseball stadiums across this great country. Absolute no-doubters.
 

moondog80

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He's not even hitting cheap ones either.

I don't think it's crazy to think the AL record for HR's by a catcher (35, I-Rod) would be in jeopardy if they keep giving him reps at DH.
Doesn't the record imply that they were hit while the player was catching and not DH?
 

foulkehampshire

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Doesn't the record imply that they were hit while the player was catching and not DH?
Yeah. Doubt the Yankees will let Sanchez play 140-145 games at C like I-Rod. I'd imagine it would be less than 120 to mitigate injury risk and keep his bat in the lineup.
36 HR's in that many games would be full on Ruthian.

Pretty sure the total (split between C + other positions) record in the AL is Fisk 37 in 1985. If the power spike is real that might be within limits.
 

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jon abbey

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That has actually been the most impressive thing to me, he may have eeked one or two over the rightfield wall at Yankee Stadium, but he has been hitting absolute rocket shots in baseball stadiums across this great country. Absolute no-doubters.
His average exit velocity on all balls in play is 8th in the bigs, just ahead of Miguel Cabrera. Also loving who is in 1st here, if he could only make contact a lot more...

http://m.mlb.com/statcast/leaderboard#avg-hit-velo
 

Rough Carrigan

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I watched part of the MLB broadcast of yankees vs. indians last night and heard John Smoltz say something to the effect that Sanchez has trouble with curveballs. I'm pretty sure he wasn't just referring to that pitcher's (Trevor Bauer's) curve. He said it after the sixth or seventh straight curve in a row by Bauer clearly implying that this was why the Indians were going exclusively to the curve against him..

Do folks think this is true?

(And I don't think this is fatal or even necessarily too big of a problem for a hitter. I know it's an old cliche to say that a hitter will be going back down to the minors because they're starting to throw him the curve. But I don't remember Kevin Youkilis, for one, ever doing jackshit against curveballs and he didn't have to go back down to the minors. He was so fixated on keeping his bat level through the zone that it seemed like he wouldn't ever swing with the bat closer to vertical as it went through the zone to match the path of a curve's drop.)
 

jon abbey

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I don't know the answer to that, but since this thread was bumped and since he's getting a ton of (much-deserved) flak for his D today, I thought this was worth adding, and keep in mind for the counting stats that he missed a month early this season:

River Ave. Blues‏ @RiverAveBlues

One year ago today NYY called up Gary Sanchez for good. He's hit .282/.358/.560 with 36 HR since. Leads all catchers in HR, RBI, OPS, WAR.

10:49 AM - 3 Aug 2017
 

terrynever

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Sanchez's home run last week off Blake Snell last week came on a curveball that he stayed back on, a hanger in his wheelhouse. Like Todd Frazier, who also had trouble with curves, it is about staying back.

Sanchez has been chasing pitches away for most of the season. His numbers are still pretty good, projecting out to 26 HRs, 78 RBI, .834 OPS. But he has to stop chasing.

Sanchez might be more relaxed serving as DH for a few days. Girardi has him there tonight. Romine may take over as the main catcher for a spell.
 

BaseballJones

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How on earth did Sanchez' suspension get reduced? The guy came into the pile and threw multiple blindside cheap shot haymakers. He should have gotten at least ten games for that. I have no idea why Cabrera ended up with twice the penalty.
 

budcrew08

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How on earth did Sanchez' suspension get reduced? The guy came into the pile and threw multiple blindside cheap shot haymakers. He should have gotten at least ten games for that. I have no idea why Cabrera ended up with twice the penalty.
Because Joe Torre is the guy who is in charge of discipline for MLB. [/sarcasm]
 

StuckOnYouk

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Sanchez sucker punched two different guys on the ground and he get his penalty reduced. Only in America
 

jon abbey

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That's not a secret, everyone who watches this team has a problem with his defense.
Sorry to bump this out of context comment from last September, but Statcast just posted some catcher defense numbers, pretty interesting:

Sanchez has the highest average velocity on his throws to 2B of any C in MLB, 87.8 MPH, just ahead of Martin Maldonado.
He is also tied with Maldonado for the fastest average pop time in the AL (3rd in MLB) at 1.93 seconds.

Sanchez' defensive issues were always with blocking pitches, but that seems to have been mostly resolved by late in the season last year and so far this spring. He is a consensus top 2 catcher in MLB along with Buster Posey, and I think he's passed Posey overall and is #1 now.

https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/poptime
 

jon abbey

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Also he homered right after I posted this, 1.298 spring OPS currently.
 

ThePrideofShiner

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I think he's primed for a monster year. Everyone will be talking Stanton and Judge, but Sanchez is the best hitter of the three.
 

DanoooME

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Sorry to bump this out of context comment from last September, but Statcast just posted some catcher defense numbers, pretty interesting:

Sanchez has the highest average velocity on his throws to 2B of any C in MLB, 87.8 MPH, just ahead of Martin Maldonado.
He is also tied with Maldonado for the fastest average pop time in the AL (3rd in MLB) at 1.93 seconds.

Sanchez' defensive issues were always with blocking pitches, but that seems to have been mostly resolved by late in the season last year and so far this spring. He is a consensus top 2 catcher in MLB along with Buster Posey, and I think he's passed Posey overall and is #1 now.

https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/poptime
BP in their annual said the only real issue he has defensively is blocking pitches, all the other elements are good to excellent. So that seems to concur with what you posted.
 

crow216

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BP in their annual said the only real issue he has defensively is blocking pitches, all the other elements are good to excellent. So that seems to concur with what you posted.
I think what Jon is saying and what the general consensus is during this Spring is that he's even improved on blocking pitches. He has looked pretty good behind the plate.
 

tonyarmasjr

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I don't know the answer to that, but since this thread was bumped and since he's getting a ton of (much-deserved) flak for his D today, I thought this was worth adding, and keep in mind for the counting stats that he missed a month early this season:

River Ave. Blues‏ @RiverAveBlues

One year ago today NYY called up Gary Sanchez for good. He's hit .282/.358/.560 with 36 HR since. Leads all catchers in HR, RBI, OPS, WAR.

10:49 AM - 3 Aug 2017
I was looking at Vazquez's numbers and got to checking out his New York counterpart. I wish I wouldn't have. He's basically started out as Mike Piazza with defense. His .898 OPS and 136 wRC+ would rank 2nd and 4th all-time among catchers. It's obviously very early in his career to be thinking about that, but he compares favorably to Posey, who came up at the same age. Bench is the standard, imo, and he's that type of player (though he's not going to play for 16 years). Tough pill to swallow for a Sox fan, especially when he's playing third fiddle to Judge and Stanton.
 

ThePrideofShiner

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So, not lazy?


Buster Olney: Word is that Gary Sanchez is being placed on the disabled list. Had an MRI today, which confirmed an injury.