Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez looked like his old self yesterday as he crushed a 3-1 fastball over the batter's eye in centerfield. He hasn't been doing much of that since his breakout 2017 campaign, so he has been demoted to the bench in key postseason games.
So why didn't Yankees GM Brian Cashman deal Sanchez this past offseason? Plenty argued the team "shouldn't sell low," but what if the Yankees think they're the problem instead of Sanchez? I believe the team has no clue how to develop talent, and it seems they know it too.
What have the Yankees groomed?
Back in the day, the Yankees drafted the "four four": Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, and Mariano Rivera. Jeter, like Gary Sanchez, struggled early, and the team ultimately handled each situation similarly. Jeter's defensive woes eventually became a strength, leading to five Gold Gloves awards.
YES Network's Michael Kay has stated in the past that the team shouldn't send Sanchez out of town while he's on a downward spiral. That makes sense, but would the bombers really deal Sanchez if he ever turns this around? He batted just .147 last season and .186 in 2018. But what's most compelling is the 77 homers he hit in 2017 and 2019.
We could almost call that untapped potential. So why haven't the New York Yankees given up on the 28-year-old All-Star, if they clearly can't fix him? Maybe the Yankees are terrified another organization could unlock the real Gary Sanchez? As a matter of fact, I think that's exactly what's going on here.
I mean, how many superstars have the Yankees drafted that are currently on the roster? The entire outfield has one key contributor, Aaron Judge. The other is a role player in Brett Gardner.
So that infield must be log jammed with drafted talent, huh? Nope, check this out: Gio Urshela (trade), Gleyber Torres (trade), DJ LeMahieu (free agency), and Luke Voit (trade). Last but not least, we have Gary Sanchez, who has been a colossal failure since 2017.
How about that pitching staff?
The Yankees have Gerrit Cole ($324 million, free agency), Jameson Taillon (trade), Corey Kluber (free agency), as well as Michael King, Deivi Garcia, Luis Severino, and Clarke Schmidt, all of whom they drafted.
Severino pitched in big postseason games over three years ago, yet they didn't trust him to pitch late in those games. Instead, they relied on free agent signings out of the bullpen to carry them to the American League Championship Series.
How about Deivi Garcia? The young right-hander that Pedro Martinez can't stop talking about, right? Yankees didn't trust him to pitch more than an inning against the Tampa Bay Rays in last year's ALDS.
The big takeaway here is that the New York Yankees don't trust their drafted talent to win. It's the reason why they haven't won a title since 2009. It's not that the team isn't spending or that they aren't making necessary trades because they are. The New York Yankees are failing at grooming talent, which is why the Los Angeles Dodgers are currently unstoppable.
Gary Sanchez isn't the problem in New York. Their coaching staff -- from rookie ball all the way to the bigs -- IS the sole issue.