Hail Gary Sanchez

I think this Gary Sanchez guy is pretty good.

How good? Sanchez was a classic "prospect fatigue" case before this season. The Yankees signed him when he was 16 years old way back in 2009. He took his time developing, particularly on defense. There were attitude problems. injuries, and long slumps. Now he's here, and hitting .321/.345/.536 through his first seven games.

Gary Sanchez has had a really, really good 2016. He hit .282/.339/.468 (132 wRC+) in the tough hitting environment of the International League. Better yet, he cut his strikeout rate all the way down to 14.4%. For context, Didi Gregorius slaps the ball all the way to an excellent 13.1% strikeout percentage. Most guys who hit for that kind of contact put up low ISOs. The ones with ISOs over .150? Jose Altuve, David Ortiz, Daniel Murphy, Buster Posey, Albert Pujols, Ben Zobrist, Wilson Ramos, Mookie Betts, Didi Gregorius, Nolan Arenado. Darn good company.

Better yet, his defense has improved. Baseball America ranked him as the best defensive catcher in the International League this season. Unlike Jesus Montero, Sanchez's defensive problems were always the result of lack of interest in the position, inexperience, and fixable mechanics like footwork, not a lack of athleticism.

AL catchers have hit .226/.292/.374 in 2016. The position is all sorts of terrible right now. The seventh best catcher by fWAR has been Mike Zunino, who has 64 PAs. Gary Sanchez does not have to be all that good to be a huge asset for the Yankees. If he fulfills his potential - hitting like he did at Triple-A this year and playing good enough defense for a 5+ fWAR, he would actually be worth double the value of the second best AL catcher this year. Think about that.