Gary Sanchez #40 – 2013 Top 100
New York Yankees
Date of Birth: December 2nd, 1992(age 20)
Origin: Signed as an International Free Agent in 2009 out of Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Dominican Republic
Jeff Reese: Last year many were down on Gary Sanchez because of the reports of deplorable defensive work behind the plate and the disciplinary DL trip in the middle of that season. His passed ball rate slowed dramatically after being reactivated, but the damage to his public stock was already done. The 2012 season went more smoothly. The bat remains his ticket to the majors; he shows a good feel for hitting to go with plus-plus raw power. The approach still needs to develop, but given the offensive ability and his age, there is certainly hope of that too rounding into form. The major question is still whether he can stick behind the plate. The Yankees have been more willing to endure mediocre defense behind home plate if it results in more offensive rewards; that is how Sanchez projects. The catch and throw skills are his best defensive asset, but he also showed some improvement with his work as a receiver to the point where eventually developing into a passable big league catcher is conceivable. The comparison that has been drawn since being signed out of the Dominican Republic has been to Jose Montero. Sanchez does not have a bat as polished as Montero at the same stage of their careers but a position switch certainly seems less inevitable.
Conor Dowley: Sanchez is a confusing case. There’s a lot of physical ability there, in both phases of his game. But when you watch him play, there’s just something… missing. You watch the swing, and it looks good. The power potential is certainly impressive. He has the tools to be a great defensive catcher. But somehow when you put it all together, the whole package is less than the sum of its parts.
I think Sanchez can be a good catcher in the majors, maybe even a great one. I just don’t think it’s going to happen, though, unless something gives him a big wakeup call, and soon. He’s still young enough to figure things out, so there’s a chance, but I’m not sure I’d hold my breath on this one.
Don Olsen: You wonder why catchers are so valuable; it is the sheer demand it takes to be a leader of a staff, a team. He has the tools, just needs to refine the little things it takes to man the backstop. The biggest hurdle is the small nuances behind the plate, as I saw games where it was more of an athlete playing catcher. Sometimes the receiving, framing, rapport with the staff never come to fruition, but for catch and release he can ride every option to succeed. His biggest hurdle might depend on the progress of Austin Romine. He is top notch, love the entire package he carries behind the plate, pitchers like him just as much, there is a comfort level he will provide in pinstripes. If he can show a 5, heck a 4 contact, he could be the future behind the plate. It does not hurt Gary at this time because in all honesty Gary is two, maybe three, seasons away. Offensively, he remains patient with off-speed, can catch up to almost anything. His season is in Trenton this summer and still a valuable prospect. Everyone needs to give him a long rope, as catchers take time to develop. Also if he improves defensively, I would look past any slumps with the bat, it is not rare for catching prospects at all.
Fantasy Outlook by Jeff Reese
Bat first catchers are ideal for fantasy purposes, and Sanchez is in an organization that will tolerate mediocre defense behind the plate. The bat has the chance to produce big power and average totals, but he’s a slow runner who will not be of much help in the runs or stolen base department. Sanchez is a couple years away from having an impact, meaning re-draft leagues can ignore him for now.