The Kraken is back
In a season that has seen the New York Yankees lose many of their big bats to injury, the resurgence of Gary Sanchez couldn’t have been better-timed.
Indeed, as of early June, the Bombers’ 26-year-old catcher was enjoying a Renaissance year in The Bronx, sporting a .267 average with an American League-leading 18 home runs, 35 RBIs, a .341 on-base percentage and a stellar .994 OPS while helping the Yanks to a first-place standing in the AL East. That’s a far cry from the down year he had last year, when he homered 18 times over the entire season while hitting only .186.
Of course, there were very good explanations for Sanchez’s 2018 dropoff. He did two stints on the injured list for a groin strain that hampered his catching and running, and he played much of the year with a shoulder injury that affected his throwing and swinging and ultimately required offseason surgery.
Now healthy, the 6-feet-2-inch, 230-pound hulk known as “the Kraken” is looking like the All-Star version of 2017, when his 33 homers shattered the Yankee record for catchers set by Yogi Berra and Jorge Posada and his cannon-like arm shut down opposing base stealers. He credits his success this year to swinging at strikes, not giving up at-bats and, of course, health. His teammates marvel at the return of his monstrous power.
Saturday, June 29, Sanchez and the Yankees take a trip across the pond to England, where they’ll open a two-game series against the archrival Boston Red Sox at London Stadium in a game airing on Fox.
Name: Gary Sanchez
Birth date: Dec. 2, 1992
Birthplace: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Height/weight: 6 feet 2 inches/230 pounds
Teams: New York Yankees (2015-present)
Honors and achievements: AL All-Star (2017), Silver Slugger Award (2017); finished second in AL Rookie of the Year voting (2016)