That was a fun win last night, huh? It’s June 1, and the Yanks have the 3rd best record in the league and sit in first place in the AL East (a one-game lead is still first place). Things are good. One of the big reasons why the Yankees are off to this start is because of the phenomenal play of Gary Sánchez, who is quieting even his most persistent doubters in 2019 and reminding everyone that he’s the best catcher in baseball.
It’s Saturday morning and a beautiful day, and we should all really go outside and enjoy it before tonight’s matchup against Boston. In the meantime, though, here are some fun stats about Gary Sánchez that you might not know.
Since Becoming a Regular
Gary joined the Yanks for good on August 3, 2016. Including Gary, 38 players have logged at least 600 plate appearances as a catcher in that span. To the numbers:
- He has 88 home runs, the most in the league. The next closest is Yasmani Grandal, who has played 67 more games, with 69.
- He owns a .534 slugging percentage, highest in the league. The next closest is Evan Gattis at .482.
- His .868 OPS is the highest in the league. The next closest is Wilson Contreras, coming in at .822.
- His .364 wOBA is tops in baseball. Contreras is again in 2nd, at .352.
- His .279 ISO also ranks first. The next closest is Grandal again, who sits at .231.
- His 128 wRC+ is also best in the league. Our friend Grandal is again in 2nd, at 119.
Here’s how he’s doing in 2019. Spoiler alert: pretty good!
- He has 17 home runs, first among catchers with 5 more than Grandal and Contreras in 14 fewer games. He ranks 5th in the league overall.
- He is hitting a home run every 9.35 plate appearances. Over a full season with the average 550 plate appearances, that’s a 59 home run pace. That’s 14 more than Johnny Bench’s 1970 season, when he set the record for home runs as a catcher with 45.
- His .646 slugging percentage is .78 points higher than the next closest, Contreras.
- His .382 ISO (!!) is .90 points higher than Contreras, again in 2nd.
- His 151 wRC+ ranks 2nd among catchers with 100 plate appearances, barely behind Contreras at 152.
- He is producing a “barrel” (the optimal outcome for at at-bat, per Statcast) in 15.7% of his plate appearances and 25% of all batted balls he produces. That’s 1st and 2nd in the league, respectively.
- His average exit velocity is 94 mph, ranking him in the 99th percentile among all players, and his xWOBA and xSLG rank in the 98th and 100th percentile, respectively.
Those are some statistics about Gary Sánchez. Oh, wait. I left out the most important one: last year, he allowed a league-leading 18 passed balls, so it’s actually impossible to say if he’s good or not. Nevermind.