Sanchez Doing Things The Right Way

Sanchez is hitting .323 in the month of August

TAMPA, FL - Gary Sanchez is one of the most highly touted prospects within the New York Yankees organization and since getting moved up to Tampa in July, has done little to dispute that fact. The 19-year-old catcher has been hitting a solid .287 with four homeruns and 20 RBI's in 35 games entering Wednesday's contest since being called up to Tampa.

This year Sanchez started the season down in low-A Charleston. This was a return trip for Sanchez who was there last year, but admitted this year down in Charleston was different from his first stint with the team during the 2011 season.

"I was down there before and it made me feel more comfortable this season when I started there because I had been there before," Sanchez said through the help of a translator. "With the comfort level, it helped me focus on playing the game the right way and doing the right things and to put up good numbers so that I can get promoted."

When the call came to Sanchez that he was being promoted up to Tampa in July he had a mixture of excitement and pride.

"When I was promoted I was very excited to get moved up to Tampa but I also felt like I earned the promotion because at the time I was playing really well and was playing the right way at the time," Sanchez said.

While Sanchez has been successful during his stay in Tampa, he had a transition period getting used to pitchers at this higher level.

"The difference between pitching in Tampa and when I was in Charleston is that in Tampa pitchers know how to mix their pitches up a little better," Sanchez said. "They also know how to spot their pitch location a lot better and rarely do they leave the ball up in the zone."

Along with a good eye for pitchers, Tampa Yankees hitting coach Justin Turner has seen a lot of promise in Sanchez's game since he has been called up to Tampa.

"He has done a good job of getting in the cage and getting his work done every day," Turner said. "I also see an extremely talented hitter for a kid of 19-years-old. He is a guy who has hitting ability, he has power and the ability to use the whole field and is just a very advanced 19-year-old hitter."

Turner has also noticed after the first couple games up in Tampa, Sanchez has calmed down and showed the poise and ability to learn and adjust with the game so that he can become the consistent hitter day in and day out that he wants him to become.

"He absolutely has become that consistent hitter we are looking for him to become up here," Turner said emphatically. "When he first was called up, we were getting onto him for striking out too much because he was too talented a hitter to be striking out as much as he was.

"But to his credit he adopted an approach to where if he gets to two strikes, he shortens his swing up and tries to put the ball into play and over the last three weeks, the results have shown with him hitting around .345 for an average."

Sanchez also believed that tweaking his approach to hitting has helped himself to become a more consistent hitter but has also shown that he may be wise beyond his years.

"Even though I am doing okay now, I have to keep progressing as a batter and a catcher," Sanchez said, "and my goal is to keep working and trying to just keep getting better every day and that's why I am in the minors, to improve."

With the season winding down in Tampa, Sanchez is working as hard as ever to keep improving and wants to finish the season strong.

"I'm trying to keep getting better as a hitter and to work on improving my overall game," he said.

Turner can see Sanchez turning into a great hitter down the road and the scary prospects for pitchers here on out is that coaches don't see much he needs to change in his swing.

"He just needs to trust his ability from an offensive standpoint," Turner said. "He just needs to trust his swing because he doesn't need to add anything onto it.

"We are constantly saying put your swing on and not your swing with something else because his swing is pretty darn good where it's at right now and the sky is the limit for this kid."

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