Where exactly is Gary Sanchez in the Yankees’ plans these days? Scouts agree he can still be an effective catcher an offensive force in the majors some day.
But his stock, like the price of oil, has dropped. Only three short years ago, Baseball Prospectus rated him 29th-best of all prospects. Prior to 2014, his rating had fallen to 85.
Sanchez batted .270 (116-for-429), with 13 homers, 65 RBIs and an OPS of .743 in Trenton last season. His play behind the plate – calling a game and making accurate throws to second base – improved, but there were bumps.
He led Eastern League catchers with 17 errors and 10 passed balls, and while his overall game did show those signs of improvement, John Ryan Murphy’s package has proven much superior.
Sanchez served a week’s suspension midway through the season for what was termed issues away from the field. He is ticketed for Triple-A Scranton in 2015, and really, with Murphy ahead of him and Luis Torrens coming up quickly behind him, if he is still a viable option for the Yankees.
Some feel the 22-year-old Sanchez’s value may be more as a trade chip.
“Overall, I thought Gary had a decent season,’’ said Yankees Roving Evaluator Tony Franklin, who managed him at Trenton in 2014. “He knows what he has to work on.’’
There are those who wonder if a lot came easy to Sanchez prior to his signing with the Yankees on 2009. He has a career average of .274 (491-for 1,792) and OPS of a solid .794.
The 2015 season is a crucial one for Sanchez. Maybe a change if scenery would serve him well and help the Yankees bring back a needed piece in return.
Once a glittering star in the Yankees system, Sanchez needs to regain some of that early luster.