Sanchez Still Looking To Improve

Sanchez says he can be better going forward

TAMPA, FL -- Catcher Gary Sanchez is coming off of a tremendous season last year and he looks like he hasn't missed a beat in the first few days of minor league Spring Training camp thus far. However, Sanchez says he knows he can be better than he has been.

He didn't get the kind of playing time he wanted over in big league camp earlier this spring but he also admits he realizes that as one of the younger guys across the street that now isn't really his time to make a serious run at the big league roster.

"I feel good," he said through the help of a translator. "I've been coming back here to work hard. I knew I wasn't going to make the [big league] team this year but I've got to continue to work hard and get ready for the season."

He has proven since day one that he has special abilities at the plate but he entered camp a year ago determined to get his defensive game going in a similar direction.

He has thrown out all three potential would-be base stealers through the first three minor league games this spring so far and he can't help but believe his abilities behind the plate are beginning to catch up with his potential at the plate over the last calendar year.

"My defense is good. I've been working towards improving that every year and it's getting better and better. I'd say my defense is much better this year than it was a year ago at this point."

He has looked stellar in the batter's box too. He has hit safely in each game so far and has hit the ball hard, including a missile home run shot off of Jose Campos during intrasquads on Saturday.

"It's pretty much the same for me -- I try not to open up in my swing and just stay short to the ball," he said. "I thought he was going to throw a fastball but they said it was a changeup. It looked like a fastball and it ran like a fastball, and I just gave it a good swing."

Looking the part of a top prospect on both sides of the ball right now, Sanchez says he just wants to keep his foot on the proverbial pedal and continue to get better.

"I want to improve in all areas," he said flatly. "I just want to do better than I did last year in all phases of the game."

That inner fire and desire that surfaced a year ago in Spring Training has not been squashed at all. In fact, if anything he seems more hell-bent on becoming the kind of impact player most scouts believe he can be someday.

He returned to the South Atlantic League a year ago and responded with an even better performance his second go-around, and he believes he is ready to do the same thing to the Florida State League upon his return there this season.

"Yeah I'm used to it now. We have to wait and see -- you can't say I'm going to do this or that, we just have to wait and see what happens but I know I can be better," he concluded.

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