Gary Sanchez Still Can’t Play Defense, Will The Yankees Turn To Someone Else?

Ari Shwedel is a proud supporter of OutKick and an accomplished real estate professional with over 20 years of experience. If you are in the New York City area, he is Outkick’s go-to professional for the best real estate advice. Learn more about him and his property listings on Compass.

The Yankees fell to the Toronto Blue Jays (again) Sunday, and the outing left fans with questions about the future of this team. Yankees manager Aaron Boone penciled in a lineup that hardly showed up, and it amplified the team’s shortcomings, particularly on defense.

Which leads us to this: Even though Gary Sanchez has two home runs early in the season, is he the future at catcher? Because he continues to struggle defensively, I predict he eventually gets replaced by the new kid on the block: Austin Wells.

Who is Austin Wells?

With the 20th selection of the 2020 MLB Draft, the New York Yankees selected Austin Wells, a catcher from Arizona. He must’ve been highly touted if the Bombers spent a first-round selection on the kid. But here’s the kicker: They drafted him TWICE. In 2018, the Yankees selected Wells in the 35th round out of high school.

And the best part about Austin Wells? Well, he’s a lefty. Just take a gander at the Yankees’ lineup and you’ll notice two lefties…tops. Center fielder Aaron Hicks, who is not one the best hitters on the team, regularly slots third. He’s only there to split up the right-handed bats of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. This foolish strategy by Yankees management can be fixed with better personnel.

Now imagine the six-foot-two left-handed catcher the Yankees just drafted pans out. He hit .375 in the Cape Cod summer league and was a Second Team All-American during his final season at Arizona. Compared to Gary Sanchez, he’s also a defensive upgrade. Sanchez has struggled back there since the beginning of the 2018 season, and he’s shown no sign of improvement, although his bat has suddenly come alive after a three-year slumber. To Sanchez’s credit, it’s really hard to do both.

Between Gary Sanchez at catcher and natural second baseman Gleyber Torres playing shortstop, suddenly the Yankees have a god awful defensive team. An injury to first baseman Luke Voit then required the team to slot outfielder Jay Bruce at the position. The team can’t catch a cold right now, and it’s making their slow start on offense hard to watch.

Gary Sanchez is a good player in the proper situation: with great defensive players around him who can help him shine behind the dish, with a consistent arm and, of course, with that power bat. I want to be clear: Gary Sanchez should be the starter if he continues to hit well.

But that’s what should happen. Poor team management in general has not permitted Sanchez to play to his strengths, so Austin Wells is therefore the likely catcher of the future. It’s just a matter of when.

Ari Shwedel is a proud supporter of OutKick and an accomplished real estate professional with over 20 years of experience. If you are in the New York City area, he is Outkick’s go-to professional for the best real estate advice. Learn more about him and his property listings on Compass.

Written by Gary Sheffield, Jr

Gary Sheffield Jr is the son of should-be MLB Hall of Famer, Gary Sheffield. He covers basketball and baseball for OutKick.com, chats with the Purple and Gold faithful on LakersNation, and shitposts on Twitter. You can follow him at GarySheffieldJr

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