Gary Sanchez: Average Defensive Catcher?

Gary Sanchez

Today, Baseball Prospectus announced their new defensive statistics for minor league catchers. Catcher defense has always been very hard to measure, especially at the minor league level. Here’s what they’re able to give us:

  • Controlling the running game (Swipe Rate Above Average, SRAA, and Takeoff Rate Above Average (TRAA)
  • Blocking (Errant Pitches Above Average, EPAA)
  • Framing (Called Strikes Above Average, CSAA)
  • Total (FRAA)

Missing here is the dark matter of catcher defense: game calling, sequencing, psychology, etc. However, this is overall pretty comprehensive. So where does Gary Sanchez rank?

  • Running Game: 0 runs
  • Blocking: 0 runs
  • Framing: +3.0 runs
  • Total: +3.0 runs

This is remarkable in how boring it is. Sanchez was a league-average Triple-A catcher in 2015. Given his hitting talent, that is a big deal. An average defensive catcher was worth something in the 1.5-2 win range alone in 2015. If he were to hit something conservative like .252/.320/.453, which is what Chris Young hit last season, we’re talking about a 3.5-4.0 win player. Not bad. Continue reading Gary Sanchez: Average Defensive Catcher?

Discussion: What Would You Trade for Cole Hamels?

At some point between now and July, the Phillies will trade Cole Hamels. A so-far-so-good Spring Training aside, the Yankees clearly have a need for pitching. Hamels is signed to a reasonable long term contract and coming off his best season. All of this makes yesterday’s new rumor predictable:

Many teams have called on ace Cole Hamels, but so far one club has enticed the Phillies more than the others. Of the teams that have expressed interest in Hamels, the Yankees have come closer than anyone, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes. The Bombers have offered a package of prospects for the 31-year-old that at least has given the Phillies a baseline for future talks.

Who knows how far along the Yankees got with trade talks. The Yankee front office is one of the least gossipy in the majors, so the rumor may not even be credible. Still, the news begs the question: What would you trade for Cole Hamels? What is your best offer? Continue reading Discussion: What Would You Trade for Cole Hamels?

Yankees Still Generating Plenty Of Catching Depth

J.R. Murphy

(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

There was a time not too long ago when the Yankees looked like they were going to be set at catcher for a long time to come.  They had Russell Martin as the immediate replacement for Jorge Posada, top prospects Jesus Montero and Austin Romine waiting in the wings at the upper levels of their farm system, and an 18-year-old kid named Gary Sanchez raking down in A-ball.

Fast forward to the present day and the catcher position is basically a wasteland.  Lifelong backup Francisco Cervelli is on the DL with a broken hand, which cruelly befell him just as he finally seemed to be nailing down the starting job.  His backup Chris Stewart is who we thought he was and who he’s always been as an all field/no hit player whose defensive reputation always seems to outweigh what he actually does on the field.  And Romine, now forced into the backup role for Stewart, has looked awful in his real Major League debut, posting a .151 wOBA and -17 wRC+ and striking out 17 times in 61 PA.

Oh, and the once great savior Jesus has been traded to Seattle and demoted back to Triple-A after registering as a negative WAR player in almost a full season’s worth of games.  Yep, things have taken quite the bad turn in the world of Yankee catchers.  And yet somehow the future still looks just as bright for them at the position as it did 2 years ago.

Click “View Full Post” to continue. Continue reading Yankees Still Generating Plenty Of Catching Depth

Sickels ranks farm system 14th in MLB

Yesterday, John Sickels of Minor League Ball ranked the Yankees’ farm system 14th in Major League Baseball, up two spots from last year’s ranking of 16. Sickels comment on the Yankees was as follows: 14) New York Yankees (16): Strengths: quartet of young hitters at the top, with Gary Sanchez, Tyler Austin, Mason Williams, and Slade Heathcott all potential impact prospects, though all have some questions. Good depth in C+ types behind them. Weaknesses: impact pitching. I don’t count Manny Banuelos as an automatic Tommy John recovery. Wildcard: Rafael DePaula, who could vault up lists quickly once he pitches against Continue reading Sickels ranks farm system 14th in MLB

Top-30 Prospects Preview: How Far Has Manuel Banuelos Fallen?

Manuel Banuelos was the no-doubt top Yankee prospect entering this season, and held down the #2 spot, behind Jesus Montero, for a year before that. A lot of people, myself included, expect him to spend time on the Yankee roster down the stretch in 2012, and move on to a bright major league career. Instead, Banuelos had pretty much the worst possible 2012 season: after months of trying to rehab an elbow injury, Banuelos was shut down on August 6th after pitching just 24 innings. Banuelos was 21 years old entering this season, and impressive age for someone starting at Continue reading Top-30 Prospects Preview: How Far Has Manuel Banuelos Fallen?

Gary Sanchez & Mason Williams Get A High-A Education

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod) No matter what order you’d rank them personally, there’s little doubt that Gary Sanchez and Mason Williams are the 2 best Yankee position prospects right now (and yes, the order in which I just mentioned them is how I would rank them).  With the way the top-tier pitching prospects have faltered this season, it’s not much of a stretch to say that Sanchez and Williams are the best Yankee organizational prospects period.  When you’re blessed with the natural physical gifts and core baseball tools in the way that these guys Continue reading Gary Sanchez & Mason Williams Get A High-A Education

2012 Pre-Draft Top-20 Prospect Rankings

Its that time again. Three days from now, the Yankees will add 30-40 young baseball players into their organization. Before that happens, it is appropriate that we take stock of the Yankee farm system, so that we may better understand the Yankee draft and signing strategy. Below are my Top-20 prospect rankings. I usually rank 30 players, but given that we’re a year away from the last draft, I figure there are serious diminishing returns to going all the way to 30 at this time of the year. And it also makes the graphics a little too large. And I Continue reading 2012 Pre-Draft Top-20 Prospect Rankings

Gary Sanchez’s defensive progress

Gary Sanchez is one of the top prospects in the Yankee system, almost entirely because of his hitting prowess.  Sanchez’s profile as a prospect is very comparable to that of Jesus Montero: an offense-first catcher with the potential to hit for power and average in the long-term, but major question marks about their ability to remain at the position. Unlike Montero, who many believed was simply too big for the position, it is a little easier to project the 6’2″ 220 Sanchez as physically being able to handle the position.  Montero’s slow windup and release made catching attempted basestealers a difficult feat Continue reading Gary Sanchez’s defensive progress

Nightly Links: Pineda, Sanchez, Garcia

Michael Pineda only went 2.2 innings tonight, and gave up 7 hits and 6 earned runs. It’s impossible to make anything of this yet (though I’m sure one ESPN beat writer will) since Pineda’s velocity was sitting slightly higher at 91, and a lot of the hits were squeakers through the infield. Offensively so far, Curtis Granderson hit a 2 run homerun off Jonathan Papelbon. (Game Day) Bronx Baseball Daily explains why Gary Sanchez is poised for a huge season in the minors. With the type of potential he has, a breakout season could propel him to the top of Continue reading Nightly Links: Pineda, Sanchez, Garcia