The Early Returns on Gary Sanchez Are Excellent

After a slow start and a minor injury, Gary Sanchez is back. He's hitting a very strong .270/.386/.432, 16%/11% K/BB, 134 wRC+, .286 BABIP. The home runs haven't come yet, but judging by the ball he destroyed on Tuesday, they will:

Under the radar here is Sanchez's strikeout rate. Amidst all the home runs last season, Sanchez struck out in 25% of his plate appearances, a rate consistent with a .250 or so hitter. Sanchez showed enough power that he could hit .250 consistently and still make all star games, but the strikeout rate was a noticeable tick up from his minor league record. It was a warning sign, to be sure.

Now, he's at 16% through a fairly small sample. Sanchez sat around 19% in the high minors, although he did maintain a 14% in his last stint at Triple-A. Given his power and willingness to take a walk, this is consistent with a batting average in the .270 to .290 range. That's a huge difference - he could be more Jonathan Lucroy than Yasmani Grandal or Evan Gattis. 

Obviously, it's early, and things could change, but I'd bet on a huge Gary Sanchez season at this point.