Former New York Yankees’ slugger took to ESPN radio to compare former teammate and current rising star to former Red Sox superstars.
“I think Gary has the perfect makeup for New York,” Rodriguez said on the Michael Kay Show on ESPN Radio on Wednesday. “I said he was kind of like a hybrid between Manny Ramirez and Big Papi (David Ortiz) or something because he’s got a flair for the dramatic, but he’s got a very, very slow heartbeat. He’s extremely confident, and that’s rare for a player that age.”
Jeez, A-Rod, as if this 24-year-old didn’t have enough pressure to repeat his historic rookie campaign.
In the month of August, after his permanent call up on Aug. 3, Sanchez slashed .389/.458/.832 with an OPS of 1.290 and 11 home runs en route to winning the American League Player Of The Month award. On Sept. 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.
Despite going just 23-for-102 (.225) in the final month of the year, expectations are sky-high for this kid as he enters his second season.
A-Rod, who played with Sanchez for about a week, was released by the Yankees last August and will make $21 million in 2017 but instead of marching towards 700 homers, he will serve as an instructor, adviser and consultant for the youngsters in the organization.
Compare him to whomever you want or don’t compare him to anyone. There’s one thing you cannot escape though: seeing such a professional hitter with the kind of potential we saw during his brief cameo ensures that we are watching the growth of a superstar.