Sorry I haven’t been Squawking much as of late. I’ve been busy in real life with a number of things, most notably my training for the New York City Marathon. The race is a little more than six weeks away! I’m running over 40 miles a week now and have had three training runs of 20 miles or more so far. That, combined with needing a lot more sleep, means I haven’t had the time to watch very many Yankee games.
To top it all off, the times I have watched, like last Thursday night when Dellin Betances gave up a three-run homer to Hanley Ramirez to win the game for the Red Sox, and Sunday night, when Hanley went deep twice against the Bombers, haven’t exactly been good for the Yankees. Oy. (At least Hanley is on my fantasy team!)
But there is somebody who has been good for the Yankees — Gary Sanchez. Since coming up on August 3 of this year, Sanchez has put up insane numbers: a .333/.411/.738 slash line, giving him an otherworldly 1.150 OPS. Nineteen homers and 38 RBI in just 168 at-bats. He has broken the record for most home runs to start his career, and has a 3.0 WAR in just 45 games.
Sports Illustrated’s Jay Jaffe makes the case for Sanchez for American League Rookie of the Year; Sanchez is second among rookies for homers, despite his short time up in the big leagues. Pitcher Michael Fulmer of Detroit, who went over to the Tigers in the Cespedes trade with the Mets, is another strong contender for the spot.
Jaffe — and Squawker Jon — have noted that Willie McCovey won a Rookie of the Year award when only playing for two months. Should it be the same for Sanchez? Considering that Sanchez has helped give the Yankees some signs of life over the past two months, even making them postseason contenders for a short time, I think he should be in the conversation.
I was on my friend Lincoln Mitchell’s Painting the Corners podcast a few weeks ago talking about Sanchez — click here to listen. My one concern was that he was going to be a flash in the pan, like Kevin Maas. The jury’s still out on that, but at least Sanchez is making the Yankees’ season interesting!