The New York Yankees had an uneven season. I’m not notably keen on the phrase “World Series or bust,” as a result of defining success in baseball is extra advanced than that. However because the Bombers couldn’t even advance to the American League Championship Sequence and completed seven video games behind the Tampa Bay Rays within the AL East (in a 60-game season!) tells me that there’s a lot of labor to be executed to catch up.
And whereas the pattern is small, the proof exhibits that Gary Sánchez was the least beneficial participant on the Yankees. I’m not saying that he’s past restore, or that he shouldn’t be the starter long-term. I’m simply stating that, from a efficiency and expectations standpoint, no Yankee upset greater than the Kraken.
Amongst qualifiers, Sánchez positioned lifeless final on the Yankees relating to anticipated wOBA, or xwOBA, with .297. I ought to level out that he was unfortunate, since there’s a -.031 differential between that quantity and his precise wOBA (.266) however that doesn’t take away the truth that he completed within the cellar in each classes.
If we broaden the factors a little bit and embody those that had a minimal of fifty plate appearances, Sánchez’s .297 xwOBA solely surpasses that of Mike Tauchman, Miguel Andújar, and Thairo Estrada. Tauchman and Andújar had been thought of for the “dishonorable” point out, however Sánchez’s offensive struggles had been an excessive amount of to beat even when he managed to hit ten homers in 178 plate appearances. The catcher had considerably extra plate appearances than all of them.
Sure, Sánchez hit the ball actually arduous. He ranked within the 87th percentile in common exit velocity, within the 91st percentile in hard-hit charge, and within the 97th percentile in barrel share. The first challenge, nevertheless, was making constant contact.
Sánchez had career-worst marks in swinging-strike share (SwStr%) with 13.8; contact share at 68.4; and Ok% at 36.0. His 69 wRC+ was additionally, by far, a career-low, as is his -0.1 fWAR, a mark that was solely higher than Tauchman, Estrada, Andújar and Mike Ford (all part-time gamers) on the crew.
General, Sánchez slashed .147/.253/.365 with a .271 wOBA in 49 video games and 178 plate appearances. He hit the ten dingers, scored 19 runs and drove in 24. He was even worse within the playoffs, with a .125/.111/.500 line, a .220 wOBA, a 34 wRC+, and an unsightly 44.4 Ok%.
For all of the work that Sánchez put within the offseason to be a greater defensive catcher (he did handle to place a constructive 2.2 protection worth, per FanGraphs), he was nonetheless a legal responsibility within the framing division (ending within the thirty seventh percentile, in response to Baseball Savant). Kyle Higashioka’s blocking prowess, coupled with Sánchez’s offensive struggles, prompted the Yankees to bench the latter in favor of the previous for a lot of the playoffs.
In fact, a 60-game season isn’t sufficient pattern to conclude that Sánchez is completed. In any case, he nonetheless has a 117 profession wRC+. However for all intents and functions, he was the least beneficial Yankee in 2020.