The Yankees started off the 2016 baseball season with expectations of possibly making the playoffs but with no real possibility of making a serious run at a championship. Despite always having one of baseball’s highest payrolls, the team mostly consisted of aging veteran players well past their prime. When the Yankees felt they had no way of contending towards the end of the trading deadline in July, they brought up one of their young players from the minor leagues in an effort to get him some experience in the big leagues but also to see how he would handle being the catcher. That player was 24 year old baseball phenom: Gary Sanchez.
THE SIGNING OF GARY SANCHEZ
He was signed by the Yankees in 2009 to a 3 million dollar signing bonus as a 17 year old player from the Dominican Republic. His statistics, which you can check out here are out of this world for a player that just came up to the major leagues. He became the fastest player in modern baseball history to hit 19 home runs. He achieved this feat in 45 games! That is astonishing for a player who was just brought up to be fulltime ballplayer. Numbers like those and the maturity level he has shown during games are just a couple of the many reasons the Yankees have a very bright future. They even made a late push to try and get into the playoffs but it was a little too late.
RISING TO THE OCCASION
Gary worked his butt off to get from the Yankees minor league system back in 2010 all the way up to being an everyday player this year. The Yankees seem to always come up with special players that come from their own farm system. Just think about these names: Bernie Williams, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and the great Derek Jeter. All these Yankee legends helped the Yankees win championships and dominate baseball for over a decade. Once Jeter retired things looked dark and gloomy for the Bronx Bombers and things were headed that way for the most part. With baseball there is almost never a sure thing. Gary Sanchez is a special player. He has the “it” factor that very few players have. Yankee fans are excited for what’s to come in 2017 and beyond. They’ve already seen flashes of how good he is and the expectations are high for how great he can become. Despite Gary bursting onto the scene in August he was a runner-up in the American League Rookie of the year race. Considering he played in less than 60 games, that is a huge accomplishment in itself.
THE “IT” FACTOR
The sky’s the limit for him. He plays a very demanding position as a catcher. This is where the Yankees have to be careful because he won’t be able to catch everyday so they will need to use him as a designated hitter whenever they want to give him a break from his regular catching duties. New York always loves a great story. The story of Gary Sanchez and his life as a Yankee has changed forever. Baseball fans everywhere have already seen flashes of brilliance from Gary. We’re all waiting to see how he handles the pressure of leading the team and living up to the hype. He will become the face of the franchise. The team will look to build around him. The Yankees want to win and Gary Sanchez will be at the forefront for when they are ready to make the leap to greatness.