When Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez broke onto the scene a couple years ago, he really took advantage of his first extended big league opportunity, launching 20 home runs in just 229 plate appearances – that’s an 11.5 PA/HR pace, just better than the 11.7 mark Giancarlo Stanton posted last season, when he launched 59 homers en route to the NL MVP award.
And while neither the hilariously high .657 SLG percentage or .358 ISO Sanchez posted during that stretch in late 2016 were sustainable, he did launch another 33 home runs last season, with an impressive .531 SLG and .253 ISO. Needless to say, the dude’s got *serious* power, and there’s really no question about it.
But we didn’t really need a bunch of numbers to tell us that, did we? All we have to do is watch what he did to this poor, unsuspecting baseball during yesterday’s Spring Training contest against the Tigers – I don’t think I’ve ever see something hit so hard.
If you’re in a position to watch with the volume on, do it. Not only is the sound of the baseball hitting the bat so distinct, the reaction of the crowd really sells how hard this thing was launched:
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) February 28, 2018
He absolutely demolished that terribly located, 88 MPH fastball, and everyone in the stadium, from the announcer to the pitcher, knew *immediately* what had happened.
And make no mistake, this is not a small playing field. Left-center at George Steinbrenner Field, where this ball was hit, is listed at 399 feet (!) from home plate – that’s center field in most Major League ball parks. And even with that immense distance, Sanchez hit it *over* the enormous video board and framing beyond the wall.
— Andrew Mearns (@MearnsPSA) February 28, 2018
Seriously, that might’ve been the most crushed ball I’ve ever seen.