Don’t worry about Gary Sanchez not winning the rookie of the year, his first year with the New York Yankees will never be forgotten.
Sanchez, who has become the first Yankees rookie to finish as runner-up for the award since Robinson Cano, had an overall slash line of .299/.376/.657 with an OPS of 1.032, 20 home runs and 42 RBI, a 61 HR/128 RBI proportion.
Among AL rookies, the kid tied Nomar Mazara for the most home runs despite having 339 fewer plate appearances. Sanchez also led youngsters with 171 weighted runs created plus in just two months in the show.
In the month of August, the 23-year old slashed .389/.458/.832 with an OPS of 1.290 and 11 home runs en route to winning the AL Player of the Month award.
Then, on September 21, Sanchez became the fastest player in baseball history (45 games) to reach the 18 home run mark and later tied Wally Berger as the fastest to reach 20.
The kid also had a 41% caught stealing percentage to tag along with three defensive runs saved behind the plate while also sparking his team on an improbable run.
In 27 games played from Sept. 10- Aug. 7, the “Kraken” batted .373 and smashed 13 of his 20 home runs. During that span, the Yankees went 18-9 and jolted themselves from mediocracy to relevancy.
Notwithstanding the fact that it wasn’t enough to both thrust New York into the postseason for the second straight year or become the first Yankee to win the rookie of the year since Derek Jeter, Sanchez exemplifies an aspect of the game that there is no award for.
The glue holding that together? For the time being, it’s Gary Sanchez.
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In the end, while Michael Fulmer deservingly earned the rookie of the year award for his year-long service, this does not put a dent on the fact that Sanchez represents flawless value, an inspirational future, and a historically epic rookie campaign — one that will be talked about for years to come.
No rookie of the year? The New York Yankees or their fans shouldn’t care. They have their guy.