The young New York Yankees catcher’s impressive run for the 2016 American League Rookie of the Year continues!
23-year-old New York Yankees rookie Gary Sanchez homered twice and drove in five runs during Wednesday’s ball game against the Tampa Bay Rays, leading the Yankees to an 11-5 victory and back to within 2.5 games of the second Wild Card slot behind the AL East rival Baltimore Orioles.
After hitting a home run in four consecutive games, including two at Tropicana Field on Wednesday, Sanchez became the quickest player in Major League Baseball history to his 19th career home run, doing so in just his 45th big league game.
This incredible feat will break Wally Berger‘s previous record of 19 home runs through his first 51 games with the 1930 Boston Braves. That’s right, folks, a record that was held for 86 years now belongs to Mr. Gary Sanchez.
In a continued push for Rookie of the Year, ‘The Kraken’ has now recorded three multi-home run games and currently owns a .337/.410/.747 slash line with 30 extra-base hits and 38 RBI since being called up on August 3.
This puts the young backstop on pace to hit .333 with 68 home runs (yes, 68) and 137 RBI over a full 162-game season – Most Valuable Player-like statistics by far.
After hitting home run number 19, Sanchez is averaging one home run per 8.7 at-bats. To put that into perspective, the great Babe Ruth averaged one home run per 9.0 at-bats in his historic career-best 60 home run season in 1927.
Trivia question: Who was pitching when Gary Sanchez hit his history making 19th home run?
Answer: Southpaw reliever Justin Marks.
This incredible run by Sanchez will certainly make things hard for voters when they cast their votes for the AL Rookie of the Year, especially when compared to the breakout seasons of Michael Fulmer, Nomar Mazara and Max Kepler, but if Sanchez can keep up this pace through the team’s final 11 regular season games, it might not even be a discussion.
To small of a sample size?
The ‘Stretch’ Willie McCovey won the National League Rookie of the Year award in 1959 despite playing just 52 games, because similarly to Sanchez, his production warranted the honor.
In ’59, McCovey received all 24-first place votes after recording 13 homers, 38 RBI and a slash line of .354/.429/.656.
McCovey also recorded an absurd OPS of 1.085; Sanchez currently owns an even better OPS: 1.157.
What do you think, baseball fans?
After becoming the quickest player in baseball history to 19 home runs, do you believe Gary Sanchez should be named the 2016 American League Rookie of the Year?
Let us know in the comments below.