Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

He's Crushing It

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

He's Crushing It

Article excerpt

NEW YORK - Gary Sanchez had always been considered a highly touted prospect. Since he was called back up to the majors two weeks ago, the Yankees catcher has shown why.

Sanchez has displayed a strong arm. He's worked well with the pitching staff. And he's been on such a tear at the plate that manager Joe Girardi felt comfortable enough batting him cleanup on Wednesday.

"The biggest thing is he's always had a ton of talent," Girardi said. "But the consistency of his talent is starting to shine through."

Along with Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin, Sanchez is part of the youth movement the Yankees have begun. So far, they're reaping the rewards of Sanchez's development.

Girardi has avoided naming Sanchez as the everyday starting catcher to avoid placing too much pressure on the 23-year-old. But the manager admitted Sanchez is going to catch while Brian McCann will be the designated hitter with occasional starts behind the plate.

"It's a day-by-day thing here, and that's what we've been doing for a long time," Girardi said. "We'll see how it goes."

Sanchez has been stellar since being called up. He is hitting .391. with five home runs and 11 RBI in 12 games since Aug. 3.

His homers have not come cheaply, either.

Sanchez, who previously had two brief stints with the Yanks, hit a three-run home run deep into the second deck in left field on Tuesday. The next day when he was batting fourth, he hit a blast to dead center field that landed in the netting above Monument Park.

Sanchez became the youngest Yankee to hit a home run out of the cleanup spot since Bobby Murcer in 1969.

"I've been working really hard with our hitting coaches and watching film, watching video," Sanchez said through an interpreter. "It's giving me good results right now."

Sanchez has had some eye-opening defensive performances recently, as well.

He made his first start behind the plate Aug. 5 against Cleveland, and threw out two runners trying to steal second base in the first two innings.

"Each at-bat is a grind for the pitcher," Girardi said. …

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