Where did Gary Sanchez come from? And is he here to stay?
Since August, one name has dominated the baseball headlines: Yankees rookie catcher Gary Sanchez. Simply put, Sanchez has kicked off his career by doing something that no other player has done in the Modern Era (since 1900) by hitting 19 homers within his first 45 games. His power is astounding and his ability to consistently get good contact on the ball will always be a plus.
However, everyone knows that all good things must be taken with a grain of salt, so the question every Yankees fan must ask is the following: can he continue to be this good go forward into the coming seasons?
Unfortunately, the short answer is no. I’m fairly sure that Sanchez is not a superhuman so the odds of him maintaining his freakish homerun pace (which again hasn’t ever been done in over a century) are very slim to none. It’s simply impossible to continue this pace ad infinitum.
To clarify, a homerun pace of 19 homeruns over 45 games projected over a full 162-game season would yield around 70 homers. The record is 73 by Barry Bonds, though many people will always question the legitimacy of that mark because of Bonds’ steroid history. Basically, hitting 70 homers in a season is really not plausible so to expect Sanchez to come back next season and replicate his current homerun pace is absurd.
Now, will he be able to come back next season and give fantastic production over a full season? The answer should be yes. Sanchez looks like the real deal, so much so that various news outlets like FOXSports.com either believe or are seriously asking whether Sanchez should win the AL Rookie of the Year award based on his performance over the final third of the season. That’s how good this kid is. He’s doing so well that experts (not just hardcore Yankee fans, but experts) are seriously considering Sanchez for the top rookie honor and willing to forget about all the other great rookies who have emerged and played the whole season.
Regardless of whether he wins the AL Rookie of the Year or not (which would be a tremendous feat in itself), what is certain is that Gary Sanchez is for real. He’s for real and he’ll get all of next season to show how well he can produce over a full season. But even more importantly, Sanchez symbolizes the rebirth of the Yankees franchise, which has struggled over the past few years. Knowing the Yankees faithful, even if Gary Sanchez gives half the production he already given next year, they’ll be happy.