Before landing with the San Diego Padres, catcher Gary Sanchez had short stints with the San Francisco Giants and the New York Mets.
He didn’t play a single MLB game with the former, and appeared in just three with the latter.
Neither squad gave him the chance he thought (and time would prove him right) he deserved.
The Padres appear to be the right fit for him: they had an opening at catcher and a need for impact bats outside of the obvious stars such as Juan Soto, Manny Machado, Xander Bogaerts, and Fernando Tatis Jr.
Playing time and consistent at-bats was all Sanchez needed to thrive.
He is now showing the best facet of his game, which is power.
“Gary Sanchez has hit more HR than any catcher in MLB since making his Padres debut on May 30. 1.) Gary Sanchez (SD): 14 HR; 2.) Francisco Alvarez (NYM): 13 HR; 3.) Yainer Diaz (HOU): 12 HR,” MLB analyst Danny Vietti tweeted.
Gary Sanchez has hit more HR than any catcher in MLB since making his Padres debut on May 30.
1.) Gary Sanchez (SD): 14 HR
2.) Francisco Alvarez (NYM): 13 HR
3.) Yainer Diaz (HOU): 12 HR pic.twitter.com/r40iXR10Jl
— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) August 2, 2023
It’s not just the power: Sanchez has shown he still has the tools to be an above-average hitter in the major leagues.
He is slashing .214/.289/.491 in 194 plate appearances, with a 110 wRC+.
The league-average wRC+ is 100, which means Sanchez has performed 10 percent better than the average hitter.
For a catcher, that’s remarkable.
Sanchez is coming off two down seasons in 2021 and 2022, particularly last year when he has an 89 wRC+.
He is still just 30, though, theoretically in his prime, so all he needed was a chance.
He is giving the Padres’ lineup more length as they look to make a surprising surge in the standings to make the postseason.NEXT: Rich Hill Continues To Approach A Legendary MLB Record