New York Yankees: Gary Sanchez's Permanent Promotion Is Long Overdue
Mark J. Rebilas, USATI

With Gary Sanchez set to appear at Yankee Stadium tonight, the hope remains that he is finally here to stay.

Putting his early 2016 four at-bat stint aside, Gary Sanchez has yet to receive a real opportunity at the big league level; a true sample size allowing him to excel.

As the fifth best prospect in the Yankee organization and the 37th best prospect in all of baseball, the sky is the limit for the backstop.

However, it was not until now, following a large overhaul, that the Dominican-born slugger was guaranteed a full slate of big league action. At 23 years of age, he has been in the Yankee minor league system, and producing in the system, for seven years.

Sure, extra development is needed when it comes to grooming a formidable major league catcher. With that said, let’s just say, with the amount of success he has had at lower levels, his call to the bigs is well overdue.

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Fittingly enough, his numbers at Triple-A Scranton have been greater and more promising than his numbers at any other level. The sheer performance means only one thing: he has been knocking on the door for quite some time.

His Triple-A slash (two seasons) reads .288/.343/.482 with 16 homers and 76 RBIs in 105 games. That line includes 10 round-trippers and 50 RBIs in 70 games in 2016. Over a full season, his power production would result in 23 homers and 116 RBIs.

With all of the achievements, all you can do is commend the youngster for taking everything in stride. For a while, the organization, including himself, has possessed the knowledge that he is ready for a more substantial opportunity.

It is not until now that they were handed the flexibility to utilize him in the Bronx. With the DH role cleared up due to the departure of Carlos Beltran and evident struggles of Alex Rodriguez, consistent reps are available.

Yes, Sanchez has to earn his way up. In other words, he has to produce.

But the Yankees are afforded the factor of patience, a factor in no way, shape, or form tied to the organization since its inception. As they look towards 2017 and beyond, Sanchez, Aaron Judge, and others will be brought up with a sense of direct leeway as they look to solidify their identities in the show.

Sanchez will be provided with the chance to handle a major league staff, counterattack a big league running game, and ultimately carry out his offensive prowess while dealing with everyday wear and tear. In short, he has a chance to prove he is here to stay.

When Joe Girardi wants to focus on the quality of his at-bats, the DH role is his to lose. When defensive improvement is the name of the game, seasoned veteran Brian McCann can put forth the needed jolt at DH or first base.

The options are endless for an organization with revamped depth and a unique scheme which will lead them into the future in an effective manner.

Gary Sanchez’s chance to shine certainly took its time, took its toll, and took its discipline. Nevertheless, it is here.

A new era of Yankees baseball might just be receiving its first jolt due to an imperative and long overdue leap of faith.

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