The youth movement the New York Yankees put into operation has made for a lot of excitement in the closing days of 2016. They traded away veteran assets to get younger and hopefully better.
But the one Yankee that has surpassed all expectations early on is a 23-year old catcher from the Dominican Republic. He has already looked like the finished product as his stats (.329 average, 19 home runs, 38, R.B.I’s, and 56 hits in only 45 games) have screamed All-Star if projected over a full season.
But it should not be a surprise that Gary has proven to be the most mature not only in performance but temperament. You grow up quick when your parents divorce and you are the youngest of five children raised by a single parent.
But after being accused of going through the motions which is understandable when you get a $3 million dollar signing bonus at age 16. Gary pointed out the birth of his daughter, Sahaira, as the turning point in his professional fortunes.
“When she was born, a new life began for me'”
Now, with a wife and child to support, Sanchez’ work ethic improved. But not immediately. He had to defeat the stigma of his conditioning and depending too much on his raw talent.
“The way I look at it is, you learn from your mistakes and move forward,”
Sanchez pointed out.
The Yankees trusted the new Gary so much that they traded John Ryan Murphy and Gary matched up with Austin Romine as backups to Brian McCann. Suddenly they both surpassed him after the late call-up.
As the fastest player to reach 19 home runs in modern baseball history one has to wonder if we have only seen the tip of the iceberg. At least we know as a husband and father, he won’t settle for less than his best.