The Yankees are set to promote top catching prospect Gary Sanchez, according to Shane Hennigan, a beat writer for the club’s Triple-A affiliate (Twitter link). Sanchez earned a very brief promotion last year, but that came only at the very end of the regular season.
Sanchez, 23, reestablished himself as one of the game’s best-regarded catching prospects with a strong showing last year. Over 400 plate appearances split between Double-A and Triple-A, he compiled a .274/.330/.485 batting line with 18 home runs.
Entering the current season, he landed in 36th position on Baseball America’s top 100 list, rated 55th per MLB.com, and got the #57 ranking from ESPN.com’s Keith Law (Insider link). The youngster has done nothing to diminish that billing thus far, as he’s had an even better effort thus far in 2016. Over 115 plate appearances, all at the highest level of the minors, he’s slashing .280/.330/.542 and has launched five long balls.
It’s unclear exactly what motivated the move. While Sanchez has certainly justified a call-up, the two men ahead of him on the depth chart — Brian McCann and Austin Romine — are both sporting OPS marks of over .800. As others have pointed out, New York is due to face a pair of tough lefties in the next two days, so it could be that Sanchez will only be up for a short time. On the other hand, the Yanks have several players dealing with injuries, so a somewhat lengthier showcase could be in order if someone hits the 15-day DL.