While Aaron Judge‘s power is something to fawn over, the real story this season is New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez.
As fans of the New York Yankees, we’ve become accustomed to watching the ball jump off the bat of Aaron Judge. I get it. He’s terrifying. That ball wants to get as far away as possible.
And while it is fascinating to watch, there is another player on the squad who truly deserves more recognition for the numbers he’s put up all season.
That player is the everyday catcher in Gary Sanchez. While he hasn’t quite performed up to the caliber that we witnessed from him in his two month stint last season, he is truly impressing in his first full year.
Last night, Sanchez’s sixth inning blast received less attention than Judge’s three-run shot right before. However, it deserves all the recognition in the world.
As Sanchez launched the ball over the center field wall, he didn’t just give the Yankees another run to pad the lead. He officially became the only catcher in team history to hit over 30 home runs in a season.
That is a miraculous feat for a young catcher, especially since he’s in the zone with 16 games left to play. Even more impressive is the fact that he missed an entire month early on in the season and still is putting up these massive numbers.
While having some miniature slumps, Sanchez has been fairly consistent, batting .283 in his first full season while driving in 85 runs.
For a guy that missed a month due to injury, I’ll take that any day of the week.
Plus, Sanchez is showing his stuff outside of his home park. On the season, Sanchez is hitting .275 with 18 of his 31 home runs coming on the road. That’s something that he has beaten Judge at. (.247 with 16 home runs.)
We all love watching Judge pound baseballs into oblivion. That much is definitely true. However, I think if we all took some time to truly watch Sanchez, we might realize that he might be more important to the team than Judge.
Sanchez is batting .276 with runners in scoring position, a stat that the Yankees have struggled with. He’s also is batting .400 with the bases loaded this year, surpassing Judge’s .182 batting average in fewer at-bats.
Also, when the game is “late and close,” according to Baseball Reference, Sanchez is batting 65 points higher than Judge.
Gary Sanchez MLB catcher ranks:
28 HR (1st)
77 RBI (1st)
66 Runs (1st)
.531 SLG (1st)
.874 OPS (1st)
43 XBH (T-1st)https://t.co/kdo3428k3Q
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) September 1, 2017
While we’re all over here drooling over the up-and-down Judge, we are not taking into consideration that Sanchez has proven to be more consistent and, perhaps, more impressive during this run to the playoffs.
Sanchez is one of the top catchers in Major League Baseball but Judge has been stealing the show from his own teammate. While we’re blessed to have both of these Baby Bombers on the squad, Sanchez’s stats deserve high praise.
Judge has given the New York Yankees something to believe in while Gary Sanchez has quietly been the driving force behind the Yankees offense.
We’re watching Judge with great interest but we should all be in awe instead with Sanchez and all he’s done and continues to do for the team this season.