Gary Sanchez burst onto the scene in 2016 with a dominant 20 home run performance in just 53 games as the Yankees that year missed the playoffs for the third time in four years. He had another solid year in 2017 slashing .278/.345/.531 with 33 home runs and an OPS+ of 126 which is above league average.

Since then, his offensive numbers have fluctuated. A down year in 2018, a great year in 2019. Back to another down year in 2020 back to a solid 2021 season for the Bronx Bombers. But that solid 2021 season, and really anything isn’t good enough for Yankee fans on Gary Sanchez. Why is that?

Yes, we know his defense is suspect. Some of the blame has to go on Clay Swanson for that in my opinion. They are so infatuated with the one-knee down catching stance for Sanchez that it has made him very unathletic behind the plate and is one of the reasons for the passed balls and wild pitches that have been hard to block.

The one-knee down stance was to improve framing and it most certainly has improved it, but it has taken away another aspect of defensive catching in blocking balls in the dirt.

Among catchers, Sanchez is in the top 10 in the league among catchers in runs scored, home runs and walks (both in which he’s number four). The expectation has become 2016-2019 Sanchez when we should just be happy with the production we get out of the catcher’s position.

Sanchez may not always get a hit, but he does hit the ball hard and hits velocity. He made contact 110 times on a pitch that was 95 miles per hour or harder.

All in all, we should appreciate the contributions that Gary Sanchez gives to the Yankees from behind the plate as the numbers show, he’s one of the 10 best at doing so in baseball.

PHOTO: Getty Images

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