Dominican-born Gary Sanchez is just 23 years old. He’s only been playing in the MLB for a year, but already he’s proven himself to be one of the greatest players in history. In fact, the MLB had to update a very old record due to what he’s accomplished since August.
Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi says of Sanchez, “It’s hard to believe.” He’s not the only one stunned by Sanchez’s performance.
Sanchez remains humble saying, “what makes it better is that you’re helping the team win.”
While the Yankees haven’t had an overly impressive season, their new player is building quite a name for himself. Yankees are currently in fourth place with 79 wins and 73 losses. The Red Sox, Blue Jays, and Orioles take up the top three spots with the American League.
Sanchez’s Climb Through the Ranks
Sanchez, a catcher, signed with the Yankees as a free agent in 2009, when he was just 16. He started playing for the Gulf Coast Yankees, but soon was moved to the Class A Staten Island Yankees. He moved to the Charleston RiverDogs in 2011, another Class A team, but ended up sidelined for the season after injuring a finger. In 2012, he continued playing for Class A teams, but finally made it to MLB in 2015 when he became a pinch hitter for the Yankees. His experience with the MLB didn’t last long, however.
When 2016 started, Sanchez started with a minor league team once again. He gained a one-day promotion in May, but found himself back in the minors for months. His big chance came in August when the Yankees called him up. He gained his first MLB single, which secured his place in future games. By the end of August, he’d been named the American League’s Player of the Week due to his impressive number of home runs.
Sanchez Hits Home Run After Home Run
Since the Yankees called him up in August, Sanchez continues to impress management, players, and fans. In just 45 games, the catcher’s built up a stunning 19 home runs. This beats the long-standing record of “most home runs in the first career games.” The former home run record dates back to 1930 with the Boston Braves’ Wally Berger. Berger gained 19 home runs in 51 games. Sanchez’s performance creates a new record for future MLB players to beat, and the season isn’t even over.
Sanchez’s first home run came on August 10, just a week after being called up from the minors. His next came four days later. On August 16, he hit two homers in one game. Since then, every few days he’s continued to hit a home run or two. August 24, 26, and 27 saw three consecutive games with home runs from Sanchez. He ended August with 11 homers.
So far, Sanchez has built up an impressive 8 homers in September. With another week before the month ends and two games scheduled in October, there’s still room for his record to grow. Currently, his career batting average stands at .329.
Analysts believe Sanchez may be in good running for the AL Player of the Year. He’s definitely a player to watch for the rest of this season. It’s also a great idea to keep him in mind for 2017 fantasy baseball.