What a Catch

It is a time of transition for RiverDogs catcher Gary Sanchez. Whether he is adjusting to living away from home in the Dominican Republic, moving from Staten Island (short-A) to Charleston (low-A), or even playing night games, all are new situations for the young player.

Gary Sanchez is on a fast rise through the Yankees farm system. He was bumped up from the Gulf Coast League Yankees to Staten Island in his first year and now he has progressed to Charleston for the 2011 season.

He will have to adjust to a higher level of play with the RiverDogs, although he seems to take change well. Sanchez mentioned that his transition from the GCL to Staten Island was a challenge because they threw more breaking balls and pitches were faster, but an additional test was playing night games.

He said that playing in Staten Island was his first time playing at night last year which could create slight confusion for the catcher.

He has been catching since he was 13 years old playing little league baseball in the Dominican Republic. It was not necessarily a position that he chose to play as much as it was assigned.

"They started putting me at catcher because I had a pretty good arm," Sanchez said. "Nobody wanted to catch so I said okay I'll catch, and after that I started to love to catch."

The position of catcher has apparently been the right one for him though. The RiverDogs new manager Aaron Ledesma praises Sanchez, calling him a promising player that he expects to be one of the top performers this year.

Sanchez is not guaranteed a solid spot catching all year; he has some competition for the position. J.R. Murphy is trying to prove his own talents as a catcher on the RiverDogs team this year as well.

"It's always a competition," Sanchez said. "It depends what they're going to do. That's not our decision who is going to move up and who is going to move down."

It is a constant reminder that he must play at his best to keep the forward momentum he had moving through the farm system thus far.

Ledesma understands that at this stage it is the player's main purpose to make it to the major leagues. He mentions that although winning is important, it's not the primary objective for the RiverDogs staff.

"We need to develop baseball players for the big league team and that is our primary objective here," Ledesma said. "Get them going here and get them to the next level."

Sanchez is no exception to those players Ledesma plans to groom for the majors. He has a drive to be the best and a knack for making the game look easy, but he insists, "It's hard. Going up, it's going to be harder and harder and harder, but I'm going to keep working."

Sanchez's catching is not the only thing that has proven him worthy of progressing through the minor league teams so quickly, but his offense is something to be praised as well. His total batting average from GCL and Staten Island in 2010 was .329 which is great for any player, let alone one who was only 17 years old at the time.

His goals for the season are to have a pretty good average, hit a lot of home runs, and catch well; ultimately, trying to be the best catcher in the league. He says that he has no worries about the upcoming season.

"I know what I'm going to go through and I'm ready."

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Pinstripes Plus Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nGary Sanchez is on a fast rise through the Yankees farm system. He was bumped up from the Gulf Coast League Yankees to Staten Island in his first year and now he has progressed to Charleston for the 2011 season.
\r\n
\r\nHe will have to adjust to a higher level of play with the RiverDogs, although he seems to take change well. Sanchez mentioned that his transition from the GCL to Staten Island was a challenge because they threw more breaking balls and pitches were faster, but an additional test was playing night games.
\r\n
\r\nHe said that playing in Staten Island was his first time playing at night last year which could create slight confusion for the catcher.
\r\n
\r\nHe has been catching since he was 13 years old playing little league baseball in the Dominican Republic. It was not necessarily a position that he chose to play as much as it was assigned.
\r\n
\r\n \"They started putting me at catcher because I had a pretty good arm,\" Sanchez said. \"Nobody wanted to catch so I said okay I'll catch, and after that I started to love to catch.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe position of catcher has apparently been the right one for him though. The RiverDogs new manager Aaron Ledesma praises Sanchez, calling him a promising player that he expects to be one of the top performers this year.
\r\n
\r\nSanchez is not guaranteed a solid spot catching all year; he has some competition for the position. J.R. Murphy is trying to prove his own talents as a catcher on the RiverDogs team this year as well.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's always a competition,\" Sanchez said. \"It depends what they're going to do. That's not our decision who is going to move up and who is going to move down.\"
\r\n
\r\nIt is a constant reminder that he must play at his best to keep the forward momentum he had moving through the farm system thus far.
\r\n
\r\nLedesma understands that at this stage it is the player's main purpose to make it to the major leagues. He mentions that although winning is important, it's not the primary objective for the RiverDogs staff.
\r\n
\r\n\"We need to develop baseball players for the big league team and that is our primary objective here,\" Ledesma said. \"Get them going here and get them to the next level.\"
\r\n
\r\nSanchez is no exception to those players Ledesma plans to groom for the majors. He has a drive to be the best and a knack for making the game look easy, but he insists, \"It's hard. Going up, it's going to be harder and harder and harder, but I'm going to keep working.\"
\r\n
\r\nSanchez's catching is not the only thing that has proven him worthy of progressing through the minor league teams so quickly, but his offense is something to be praised as well. His total batting average from GCL and Staten Island in 2010 was .329 which is great for any player, let alone one who was only 17 years old at the time.
\r\n
\r\nHis goals for the season are to have a pretty good average, hit a lot of home runs, and catch well; ultimately, trying to be the best catcher in the league. He says that he has no worries about the upcoming season.
\r\n
\r\n\"I know what I'm going to go through and I'm ready.\"
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

Are you a monthly or 3-month subscriber to PinstripesPlus.com? Why not get two months free AND get 4 issues of our PinstripesPlus Magazine included by becoming an annual subscriber? Upgrade today to get the most out of your subscription.

\r\n

\r\n

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