Gary Sanchez is making waves in pennant race baseball. August saw Sanchez twice earn AL Rookie of the Week honors and ultimately AL Player of the Month. In September, Sanchez is front and center, batting third, between catching and DH.
More than a month, more than a small sample size, Sanchez’s stats are legit. Hammering home run No. 14 in a 3-0 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Sanchez ranks third among AL rookies in round trippers and tied for fourth among AL catchers on the whole. Sanchez’s home run totals are with 200-300 less plate appearances as well.
Sanchez’s .331 average is tops among rookies with more than 130 at-bats. The same goes for Sanchez’s .406 on-base percentage, .706 slugging percentage and 1.112 OPS. Only outfielder Max Kepler of the Minnesota Twins and his 2.4 WAR matches Sanchez among AL rookies.
Of course on the other side of the ball, starting pitcher Michael Fulmer of the Detroit Tigers, leads the AL with a 2.76 ERA, his 5.0 WAR is tied for fifth, his 1.05 WHIP is also fifth and he has ten wins.
Compared to other Yankees rookie catchers, Sanchez is first rate on that front. In 1970, Thurman Munson captured the award with six homers, a .302 average, .386 on-base percentage, .415 slugging percentage and a .801 OPS.
In 1947, Yogi Berra hit eleven homers and batted .280 with a .310 on-base percentage, .464 slugging percentage and a .775 OPS.
The 1955 season saw Elston Howard hit ten homers, while batting .290 with a .336 on-base percentage, .477 slugging percentage and a .812. OPS.
Back in 1929, Bill Dickey also hit ten homers and batted .325 with a .346 on-base percentage, .485 slugging percentage and a .832 OPS.
Granted all of those Yankee backstops played at least 83 games, where Sanchez only has 36 thus far and would play 54 in total is he’s in the lineup for every game from here on out.
Sanchez is the complete package and if he leads the Yankees to the promise land, he could be carrying some well earned hardware too.