Gary Sanchez has seemingly been around forever, having been ranked among the top 100 prospects in baseball in each of the past four seasons. However, 2013 was the first year he played a game at the Double-A level. The New York Yankees have slowly brought their young catcher along, with two seasons in A-ball and another two seasons at high Class A.
Last year was also the first time that Sanchez was given an in-season promotion, and he made the most of it with an impressive 11.8 percent walk rate and an equally notable 14.5 percent strikeout rate. Both numbers represented career bests for Sanchez, although his overall line of .250/.364/.380 left something to be desired. Sanchez has a quick swing and should eventually have big power, as offense will carry him to the major leagues.
His defense currently lags far behind his offense, but Sanchez does possess plus-plus raw arm strength and sound throwing mechanics. While Sanchez is a good athlete, he does not move well behind the plate and at times he has had problems catching the ball. The good news for the 21 year old is that he has time to improve and is far from a finished product. With Brian McCann freshly inked to a 5-year deal, the Yankees can simply slide him over to DH once Sanchez is ready to take over at catcher.
Sanchez can take advantage of his time at Spring Training by impressing the coaching staff with improved defense, while also getting to know some of the pitchers he may be calling games for down the line. Coming from the Dominican Republic, Sanchez is still perfecting his English and as his language skills improve, so will his effectiveness as a game caller. While Sanchez likely won’t make his MLB debut until 2015, Spring Training will be Sanchez’s first chance to make an impression on his future teammates and coaches.