New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez had an awful 2018 season, but could be back with a vengeance this year.
The young catcher missed two months with a nagging groin injury and generally underachieved. His hitting took a step back, his defense behind the plate was as expected, and the boo-birds showed up more often than not.
Sanchez’s season was so bad, it was even speculated he could be moved in a trade. Jon Heyman of Fancred reported back in November the Yankees were interested in Marlins backstop J.T. Realmuto. Nothing ever came of these talks, but one thing is certain. Gary Sanchez needs to have a strong 2019 season, and how.
The good news is, after looking at the numbers, the man we call “El Gary” should get back to normal this season.
A history of streakiness
Oh, how well we remember Gary Sanchez joining the everyday lineup. The Dominican backstop debuted via two random at-bats in 2015 but wasn’t a regular until late the following year. Sanchez then made a spot start in May 2016, and then joined the lineup for good on Aug. 3.
Next came a hot streak most only see in video games. At season’s end, Sanchez posted an excellent line of .299/.376/.657 and hit an astonishing 20 homers with 42 RBI. The man only played in 53 games, and still finished second behind Michael Fulmer in American League Rookie of the Year voting!
Fans, naturally, were excited. We had our true successor to Jorge Posada. We had a catcher whose pure hitting ability was lauded by all. He even had a fun nickname and when the 2017 campaign rolled around, every fan was thinking the same thing: