Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

2019 Season-In-Review - Gary Sanchez


There's an old saying that goes, "You can't predict baseball." In general, that statement is true. The game has been played for well over a century and even with all that time to learn and all the advanced stats available to us in 2019, the game is still as unpredictable as ever.

That being said, there are a few players you can pencil in their season stats in March and be pretty darn close once October comes around. Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez seems to be turning into one of those players early in his career as his 2019 went fairly close to how we expected back in Spring Training.

Let's look back at how the past season treated the Sanchize and what we should expect going forward.

Editor's Note: Get our 2020 MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our draft kit, premium rankings, player projections and outlooks, our top sleepers, dynasty and prospect rankings, 20 preseason and in-season lineup tools, and over 200 days of expert DFS research and tools. Sign Up Now!

 

Old Reliable

Sanchez did what he always does with the bat, which is hitting for massive power while hitting for a low batting average thanks to a ton of strikeouts and a low BABIP. He ranked first among catchers with 34 home runs while putting up excellent run and RBI numbers on a per-game basis.

The other thing we can, unfortunately, pencil in for Sanchez is missing games. Sanchez had multiple stints on the injured list again this season most notably with a late-season groin strain which is the same injury that caused him to miss time towards the end of the 2018 season. Sanchez has played three full seasons in the Big Leagues, and the 122 games he played in 2017 is his career-high. Sanchez has played just 195 games over the past two seasons due to a myriad of injuries.

When he was on the field, however, Sanchez was the difference-maker at catcher that fantasy drafters were hoping for when they paid a premium for the right to have power from fantasy's weakest position. Sanchez's 34 homers were a career-high and he slashed .232/.316/.525, joining Willson Contreras as the only catchers to slug above .500. His .293 ISO lead all catchers by a country mile and he finished top-five at catcher in runs, RBI, and homers despite finishing 10th in plate appearances.

Sanchez backed up his elite power numbers by improving his batted ball profile as well. He put up a 42.1 percent hard contact rate, a new career-high, and had more batted ball events that lead to fantasy production, especially when compared to his disappointing 2018.

In 2018, Sanchez batted a ghastly .186 thanks largely to a .197 BABIP. Many fantasy drafters looked at the BABIP and assumed positive regression was due. Some was in fact due to bad luck, his BABIP bounced back a little in 2019 up to .244, but a lot of his struggles in 2018 were poor contact. Sanchez hit 42.9 percent ground balls in 2018, which is fine for a speedster like Billy Hamilton, but for a slow, power-hitting catcher, that many grounders is a recipe for failure, especially when coupled with his 19.2 percent infield-fly-ball rate. Throw in a 25.1 percent strikeout rate and you have a sub-.200 hitter.

This season, however, Sanchez made improvements in his swing and the results showed. He upped his line drive rate from 14.3 percent to 20.3 percent and improved his fly ball rate from 42.9 percent to 47.6 percent. These batted balls came at the expense of grounders and pop-ups and while he did strike out a bit more this year, he was able to raise his batting average back up to a number fantasy owners can live with in exchange for his elite power production.

 

2020 Projected Value

Moving forward, Sanchez will continue to be in the conversation for the first catcher drafted in fantasy, though probably not as high overall as he was being drafted this season. Going into 2018, the catcher landscape was Sanchez, J.T. Realmuto and a lot of unflattering starting options before getting to the real dregs of the position.

That likely will not be the case heading into 2019 as catcher actually looks deeper for fantasy than it's been in several years. Breakouts from Grandal and Wilson Ramos combined with the emergence of several exciting young players such as Will Smith mean there will be more startable catchers to go around and there won't be as much of a positional advantage to be had paying up for Sanchez or Realmuto.

That being said, Sanchez should still be the first catcher off the board when 2019 drafts commence. Realmuto has been more consistent in recent seasons, but he did not take the leap many predicted moving from Miami to Philadelphia. Sanchez has his injury history, yes, but when he's on the field no catcher is more of a difference-maker in fantasy. Baseball is a long season so if owners need to deal with an IL stint here or there so be it.

For my money, give me the only catcher in baseball with legitimate 45-homer upside if he can stay on the field. Injuries are a lazy excuse not to draft a certain player as anyone can get hurt, especially at catcher. Sanchez will be an absolute monster when he's on the field and if he stays healthy no other catcher can touch his power production. He plays in an extremely hitter-friendly home park in the middle of what should be another stacked Yankees lineup in the league where he can DH when other top catching options would need an off day.

Draft Sanchez confidently starting around the sixth round of 12-team fantasy leagues and pencil in 35-40 homers from a position other owners won't get 30. Just have a contingency plan in place if Sanchez needs another IL stint.

More 2019 Fantasy Baseball Advice




More Recent Articles

 

Biggest Breakouts of 2019: Quarterback

2019 was a very interesting season of fantasy football, to say the least. It's safe to say no one was banking on the season that we saw from Lamar Jackson but he wasn't the only one to stand out. At the quarterback position, we saw some really exciting players start to shine and some older... Read More


Goodbye Runners, Hello Pass-Catching RBs: 2019 Season Trends

As the 2019 summer kept going we all had two things in our minds with regard to September's fantasy drafts and both of them were related to running backs: Where in the world are Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon and when will they be back? It made sense back then (and it still does now,... Read More


Where Does 2019 Rank Historically Among ADP Movers?

I have worked on a season-review series of articles in which I have analyzed the biggest winners and losers in terms of ADP entering draft season compared to the end of the year final results. It was plenty of fun looking back at the gambles most of us took which ultimately paid off, but also... Read More


Biggest Busts of 2019: Tight End

2019 was not the record-breaking season for tight ends 2018 was. San Francisco’s George Kittle (most receiving yards for a TE in a season) and Philadelphia’s Zach Ertz (most receptions for a TE in a season) did not break the records they set last season, although both were fine for fantasy players. Kansas City’s Travis... Read More


Rushing Quarterbacks Are Becoming Necessary

The 2019 fantasy season is over. We are all thinking about what to do come 2020 draft day. So let me ask you something. What if I offer you the chance of drafting a quarterback who is a lock to finish the season with 270 fantasy points? Would you take him and make him your... Read More


Biggest Breakouts Of 2019: Wide Receivers

As we enter the initial phase of offseason activities you have recently completed a painstaking process of creating and managing rosters, with the goal of winning fantasy championships in 2019. Now, many of you have already shifted your focus toward planning your drafts in Best Ball and redraft leagues, while others are contemplating how you... Read More


Tight End ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, as sure-fire players are expected to reward their owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they put up a season-long dud, though, you'll... Read More


Running Back ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, a sure-fire player is expected to reward his owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they end up as a season-long dud, though,... Read More


Biggest Surprises of 2019: Tight End

The 2019 NFL season was anything but predictable. I mean, the Tennessee Titans made the AFC title game! Andrew Luck retired right before the season! [Insert one of many, many other things here, because all lists need three items but I couldn't decide between all the possible third options.] One position where things at the... Read More


Wide Receiver Risers and Fallers: 2019 Season Review

We continue our series covering the biggest risers and fallers of 2019 with the wide receiver position. I'll look at both 2018 and 2019 statistical outcomes from every player, contrast their performances, calculate differences in each category and come up with the most prominent names going forward. This past season, receivers didn't dominate in fantasy,... Read More


Wide Receiver ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, as sure-fire players are expected to reward his owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they put up a season-long dud, though, you'll... Read More


XFL Fantasy Football Rankings (Preseason)

As of this writing, there is exactly one month until XFL regular-season action begins. On February 8, the latest upstart professional league will kickoff (again) with spring football. It goes without saying that we hope it goes better than the first time, back in 2001, and lasts longer than the AAF. Before you settle in... Read More


Biggest Busts of 2019: Quarterback

The 2019 NFL season is over, and it's time to look back on what happened. 2019 was a year where some quarterbacks -- Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen -- leaped up to the top of the fantasy charts, while other guys faded from where they were expected to perform. Today, I want to talk about three... Read More


Quarterback ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, as sure-fire players are expected to reward their owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they put up a season-long dud, though, you'll... Read More


Biggest Breakouts of 2019: Running Back

The 2019 fantasy football was filled with plenty of surprises across the board. Between guys like Devante Parker breaking out and David Johnson being a total dud, there was plenty of action that kept the fantasy season interesting. At the running back position, there were some very interesting young names that took off and broke... Read More