The Situation: The Yankees rank near the bottom of essentially every offensive category in the American League, which is bad. They're about to face Jose Quintana and Chris Sale, who are good. New York will call on Sanchez to hopefully help the icky situation described above.
Background: Sanchez was one of the highest-profile players of the 2009 international class, and the Yankees rewarded him with a $3 million dollar contract during that July's signing period. The Yankees were relatively aggressive with him–particularly for a young catcher–and after two solid seasons in the lower levels, he was touted by many as the best catching prospect in baseball. Things took a turn for a worse over the next two years, as Sanchez put up pedestrian numbers and saw his stock drop in turn. He appeared to turn a corner late last season, and he was among the most impressive players in the Arizona Fall League. He's been on a tear over the past two weeks, and the Yankees obviously saw enough to give him a promotion to the show.
Scouting Report: What made Sanchez such a high-profile prospect coming out of the Dominican Republic was impressive raw power, and it remains his best tool today. His bat speed is plus, and although the swing has length, its natural loft and extension lets him take the ball out to any part of the park. He's also shown a much improved approach at the plate, and though he will chase, there are not as many at bats that end with him swinging at pitches outside of the strike zone. There's some contact issues here, but not as many as you'd expect from a hitter with his pop, and he has also shown more willingness to hit the ball the other way. At one point the hit too looked closer to 40 than 50, but now there's a real chance it could get to average, and that's a huge development.
Sanchez's glove hasn't seen quite the improvement that his bat did, but it does appear that he can stay behind the plate in the short-to-intermediate future. His arm is an easy 70, and he gets rid of the ball quick enough to make it a real weapon against the running game. He's a mediocre receiver who doesn't get great reviews for his game-calling, and he's never going to be a defensive stalwart. With his offensive potential, all he needs is to be adequate, and it appears he'll be just that.
Immediate Big League Future: If Sanchez shows the same approach at the plate that he did in the International League, he's got a great chance of making an immediate impact. He's never going to walk a ton, he just needs to give big-league pitchers a reason to throw strikes and to fear the plus-plus raw power. This is very likely a short-term call up, but if he can perform in his limited viewing, it will be a great sign of things to come in 2016 and beyond. — Christopher Crawford
Fantasy Take: Sanchez hit .274/.330/.485 with 18 home runs across Double-A and Triple-A in 2015 and followed up the strong regular season by swatting a league-leading seven dingers in the Arizona Fall League. In addition to what he accomplished at the plate, reports were encouraging about his ability to stay behind it, with a plus arm and improved receiving leading to growing confidence that will maintain eligibility there for the foreseeable future. The strong overall performance was a revitalizing elixir for one of the minor's strongest cases of prospect fatigue.
Sanchez ranked as Bret's 16th best dynasty catcher entering this season, and his performance since has reinforced the notion that among prospects, he should be considered the likeliest threat to break into the position's upper tiers. After a bit of a slow start, Sanchez has been on a tear over the past ten days, a stretch that has included three homers in his past eight games. His seasonal line sits at .288/.336/.541, which is pretty close to the slash line he recorded during his 2015 Triple-A stint. Sanchez has managed to shave a couple points off his strikeout rate in the process, though a mild deterioration in his walk rate probably shows he no less willing to expand the zone and rely on his premium bat speed.
Catcher has gotten extremely messy this year, so while Sanchez is more or less the guy we thought he was entering the season, I'd move him close to the top 10 in dynasty contexts. That shows my optimism moving forward, but I'll advocate for a more cautious approach in the short term. With the Yankees set to face southpaws in the next two contests, Sanchez will provide some extra right-handed thump out of the DH slot. Austin Romine has been adequate as Brian McCann's backup, and there's no reason to expect Sanchez will displace him at this time. Alex Rodriguez is due back from the disabled list shortly, at which point there won't be anywhere for Sanchez to play. I'll be surprised if he's not headed back to Scranton next week.
While Sanchez is a top-shelf prospect, this is the not the kind of call-up that demands a heavy FAAB investment. I can't see putting down more than a buck or two in mixed league redrafts, or more than a small handful in AL-onlies. Sanchez ranked as an honorable mention in J.J. Jansons' most recent Stash List, and I think that's appropriate. It will take a long-term injury at the big league level for Sanchez to get enough play to make an impact. — Greg Wellemeyer
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