This post was originally entitled "Gary Sanchez is the best player on the Yankees," but that failed to capture what I was going for. That statements is all but fact at this juncture, as Sanchez has been the team's best player since he was called-up for good in August. His incredible bat and surprisingly stout defense have been a veritable breath of life into this team, and it is difficult to exaggerate what his presence has meant to the team on both sides of the ball. That much is obvious.
What is less obvious, albeit somewhat expected given the ups and downs of most everyone on the roster, is that Sanchez has been the best Yankees position player for the entirety of the 2016 season. Check it out:
With last night's incredible performance under his belt, Gary Sanchez now leads Yankees position players in all forms of WAR(P) - and Baseball Prospectus doesn't even have last night's action added in as of this writing. You may think that these metrics overrate his defense, or underrate Gregorius' defense, but it is clear that his overall production in just under two months cannot be overstated.
And, just for fun, I plugged 180 PA into FanGraphs as the minimum PA on their WAR leaderboard. Keep in mind that WAR is a counting stat, so this is not a matter of a small sample size blip in batting average or even wRC+. And Sanchez checks in at 58th out of the 357 players that have reached that threshold; and only one of the players ahead of him (Trea Turner) has fewer than twice as many plate appearances.
It's been a hell of a ride so far, and I can't wait to see the encore.