High expectations surround New York Yankees’ catcher Gary Sanchez but he might not be a superstar right away… and that’s okay.
Sanchez hit the ground running the major leagues upon his call-up last season. You all know the stats by heart at this point. In 53 games, he crushed 20 home runs and finished second in the American League Rookie of the Year voting. And on and on it goes.
Basically, he single-handedly saved the Yankees’ season. So there is no doubt that the pressure is on in his first full season in the Bronx. However, fans need to realize that Sanchez will live up to the hype. It just probably won’t be right away.
Players entering their first season will have their ups and downs. It is unlikely that someone would come up and make such an impact so quickly as Sanchez did with the 2016 Yankees. By exceeding expectations right away, Sanchez quickly became the one bright spot during a dismal Yankees’ season.
However, as the end of the season came to a close, we began to see some struggles with Sanchez at the plate. During September and October, Sanchez batted a measly .225 and struck out in 34% of his at-bats. He also showed his flaws against left-handed pitchers, slashing .189/.302/.566 with only six home runs.
Defensively, Sanchez proved he still has some work to do. Even though he showcased his insanely strong arm — throwing out 13 runners attempting to steal — he still committed three errors in 36 games catching.
“The Sanchize” is certainly not perfect, although fans will expect him to be after his impressive stint last season. But there will also be a learning curve for Sanchez, especially since he’s stepping into a starting role after just a partial season as a backup.
That learning curve will take some time.
We can’t just automatically expect perfection from a second-year player, even one as talented as Sanchez — it’s just not fair
Sanchez will experience some ups and downs as he finds his fit with this Yankees team. It’s a new year, a new squad and a clean slate. The chances of Sanchez coming out and doing what he did last August is highly unlikely.
That doesn’t mean, however, he won’t be great. Struggles will be a part of the game for the 24-year old but he boasts talent that we’ve seen before from various Yankee legends.
Right now, we have to take it slow with Sanchez. Let him work out the kinks that are bound to happen before fans crucify him. Give him a chance.
Why? Because we’ve already witnessed history with him and he’s sure to bring excitement for the Yankees for years to come. If it takes some time, so what? He’ll get there, for sure.