Since most spring training overreactions tend to skew negative, it seems necessary to visit the other side of the spectrum through the lens of one of the most maligned Yankees in recent history: Gary Sanchez.
Sanchez is mashing so far on the eve of a make-or-break year with three hits in nine at bats including two homers and two walks. On the defensive side, he’s caught 19 innings without any errors or passed balls and, anecdotally, his pitch framing and comfort behind the plate just looks better to the naked eye.
The Yankees staff is noticing the difference too per catching coach Tanner Swanson in a Sunday AP article:
“I think overall just a much more confident version of the Gary Sánchez that we saw in 2020. He has really attacked the offseason. Been really accountable for his performance in 2020. I think he’s in a really good place and his process is really sound. I’ve been really pleased.”
His teammates are publicly backing him as well in what’s either genuine encouragement or a calculated attempt to build his confidence back to an all-star level. But if the results are there, who cares?
"He's one of the best catchers in the league." -DJ LeMahieu on Gary Sanchez
With just one week of games in the books, there’s a long way to go until we even get to the point where games matter. But early indications are trending in the right direction – which we can all agree is better than the alternative.