New York Yankees Gary Sanchez is the best catcher in baseball

Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
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New York Yankees
Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees. J.T. Realmuto, Miami Marlins. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Sanchez vs. Willson Contreras

Cubs backstop Willson Contreras hit for a higher average than Sanchez but has nowhere near the power that “The Kraken” regularly puts on display.

Sanchez hit 10 more home runs than Contreras and drove in 13 more runs. If you asked a Yankees fan at the beginning of the season if Sanchez could have brought home 77 runs, like Sanchez did, with the number of injuries the Bombers had, they would have told you it was almost impossible. The proof is in Sanchez’s stats.

Sanchez vs. J.T. Realmuto

No catcher had more long balls in 2019 than Sanchez, and just one had more RBI, J.T. Realmuto of Philadelphia. The Phillies catcher, however, didn’t have to drive in a team full of backups, as the Kraken did. Realmuto had 156 more plate appearances than Sanchez. He didn’t capitalize on the advantage, knocking in only six more RBI than Sanchez.

Realmuto is undoubtedly a better defensive player than Sanchez, but again, he doesn’t have the same impact on his team that Sanchez does with a bat in his hands. Additionally, the Phillies don’t ask as much from their catcher as New York does.

Realmuto’s 2019 Phillies team had plenty of talent. The Yankees did too but were beset by injuries all year. Realmuto didn’t carry his team as Sanchez did, and Philly missed the playoffs as a result.

Sanchez had to step in and anchor the lineup, which he did. There’s a reason that the team spoke glowingly of Sanchez last year, whereas the previous two years, Sanchez had made headlines for questions of laziness and defensive struggles. He grew so much as a player and as a leader in 2019.