Earlier last winter, Yankees General manager Brian Cashman told reporters that he hoped to “unleash the Kraken” in 2016 when asked about the status of catching prospect Gary Sanchez. Following the RailRiders 6-4 victory over Pawtucket on Thursday night, team beat reporter Shane Hennigan reported on Twitter that the Kraken is being summoned and Sanchez is being promoted to the big leagues. The 23-year old backstop was hitting .288 with 5 homers and 21 RBI in 26 games this season.
No prospect in the Yankees farm system has restored their stock in the organization or around baseball more than Sanchez has done over the last year. His raw power at a premium position is what has kept him among the top-prospects in the system despite concerns about his defense and attitude over the last few seasons.
In 2015, Sanchez hit 18 homers and drove in 62 runs in 93 games between Trenton and Scranton before earning a September call-up to the majors. The young backstop then went to the Arizona Fall League and led the league in homers (7) and RBI (21).
The knock on Sanchez has always been his defensive deficiencies behind the plate, but the Dominican-native has worked tirelessly over the course of the last three years in order to raise his level to major league caliber. After allowing a career-worst 26 passed balls in 2011, Sanchez has worked tirelessly to bring that number down; in 2015 he allowed only two.
An official announcement and corresponding roster move is expected to be made on Friday.