Although his 2017 season hasn’t been as flashy as Aaron Judge‘s, New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez is continuing his sensational start to his Major League career.There are a ton of reasons why many may not realize how Gary Sanchez has actually continued his pace with the New York Yankees from a year ago.
One is Aaron Judge and his rise to stardom and another big one is the Kraken’s 3-for-20 start followed by time on the disabled list due to a biceps strain. Nonetheless, Gary Sanchez continues to amaze.
In the month of June, the 24-year-old is slashing .342/.415/.753 with nine home runs and 25 RBIs in 18 starts including seven homers in his last 14 games — about one every two games. That pace, with the help of his crazy rookie campaign from 2016, has put him on a list with some incredible company.
Sanchez played in his 100th career game on Sunday and against Nick Martinez in the bottom of the fifth, he slugged his 33rd career home run. That total is the most to begin a career in Yankees history and is tied with seven-time All-Star Rudy York for the second-most through 100 games in Major League history behind Mark McGwire, who hit 37 home runs to kick off his career and ended with 583 career dingers.
— ??EpicNYY/ NJD?? (@CoolYanksFan) June 25, 2017
Sanchez is also doing this at the game’s most physically demanding positions and is in the Top-5 among American League catchers (min. 100 PA) in batting average (.298), on-base percentage (.382), slugging percentage (.560), wRC+ (150) and home runs (13) despite missing being out for about a month.
What’s even more amazing? Sanchez is arguably improving, as the youngster’s plate discipline has improved from his AL Rookie Of The Year runner-up campaign.
His strikeout rate has dropped from 24.9 percent down to 22.5 percent while his OBP has jumped from .376 to .382. Marginal increases, sure, but his line drive rate has gone from 16.4 to 21.6 and when you recognize that the backstop’s batting average on balls in play has gone from .317 to .330, that’s normally proof that he’s hitting balls directly at fielders.
This means that Gary Sanchez, when he takes 650 plate appearances, could actually see an improvement in numbers. Just like Gary himself, that sure is scary.