Yesterday I wrote about Gary Sanchez from the perspective that Yankee fans don’t have anything about which to worry, despite airing their concerns regarding – altogether now – the best catcher in baseball since the summer of 2016. I’ve come to learn that Yankee fans are 4th degree black belts in the art of getting their pinstripes in bunches over absolutely nothing.
Since my take was from the, “he’s the best catcher in baseball, relax” stand point, I overlooked some information that makes concerns about Sanchez even more silly.
His batting average on balls in play (BABIP) in 2016 and 2017 was .317 and .304, respectively.
This season it’s .212. TWO TWELVE.
Whoa, hold on – he’s either hitting it in a different manner or teams are shifting on him more efficiently…right…?
His percentage of balls pulled has gone down slightly – 51.5% this season, 49.6% last season. But wait, there’s more:
In 2017 15.2% of his batted balls were to the opposite field. This season it’s 22.4%.
Wow. He must be hitting the ball softly much more often then, right?
Nope. 36.9% of his batted balls were hit hard last season, 36.8% this season.
So he hits the ball hard, he sprays it around, and his BABIP is around 100 points lower than the previous two seasons.
Gary Sanchez, my friends, is hitting into some serious bad luck.
Barring injury, a progression is coming. Bank on it.
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