It’s no secret that Gary Sanchez had a brutal season in 2020. So to get back on track, he’s hitting tanks in the Dominican Winter League.
Well, you can’t ever say that Gary Sanchez doesn’t have some major pop.
Gary Sanchez just absolutely crushed a home run! pic.twitter.com/mEssfKUIzd
— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) December 5, 2020
I mean my word did he get ahold of that one. An absolute no-doubter right off the bat. New York Yankees fans sure did miss seeing that.
Sanchez was an absolute disaster in 2020. There’s no getting around that fact. He slashed just .147/.253/.365 with an OPS of .618. He recorded a -0.1 fWAR and a wRC+ of 69.
That’s about as bad as it gets, and it’s the worst Sanchez has played since exploding onto the scene in 2016. It even resulted in some Yankee fans hoping he would be non-tendered this offseason.
Luckily, that didn’t occur. Sanchez will be on the Yankees in 2021. Which version of him will we see? Only time will tell. For what it’s worth, when Sanchez wasn’t whiffing on pitches, he had a barrel rate of 17.4% and a hard-hit rate of 50.0%.
Of course, hitting the ball with an average exit velocity of 91.8 miles per hour only matters if you, you know, hit the ball. And Sanchez missed an awful lot in 2020. He whiffed on 45% of fastballs, a troubling stat considering his four-seamer whiff rate has been steadily climbing since 2017.
But maybe his time in the Dominican Winter League is just what he needs — a chance to reset without the crushing pressure of playing baseball in New York. Some time to get back to what made him such an offensive force at the ditch. And yeah, maybe some time away from major league-caliber pitching to get his feet under him again.
We don’t know what 2021 has in store for Gary Sanchez. So for now, let’s just enjoy watching him do what he does best: tanking baseballs.