We are just over a third of the way through the Arizona Fall League season and there is little question as to who the league MVP is thus far. Coming into Monday’s game, Gary Sanchez was hitting .467 (5th best in the league) with four home runs, 14 RBIs, 14 hits, and 28 total bases (all best in the league) in seven games. He laced a single into left field in his first at bat before hitting yet another solo home run in the fourth inning for his two hits in five trips. He will likely be named the player of the week for last week, and he is off to a good start this week.
Behind the plate he is still trying to prove he has what it takes to stick. He got plenty of opportunities to block balls in the dirt, and did a pretty good job, letting just a couple trickle away. His arm is plenty good enough to throw runners out, but can sail on him at times, which it did today allowing Phillip Ervin to steal second, then take third on a ball that found its way into center field for his third error of the season. There were also two wild pitches on his watch, both balls in the dirt that got away from Sanchez.
Sanchez was not the only Yankee to flash power on Monday, as Tyler Austin hit his first home run of the fall. He also got the chance to showcase his athleticism very early on when the lead-off hitter for Peoria hit a sharp grounder that hit the side of the bag and took a sharp turn toward to Austin’s left. He made a quick diving play to field the ball and get Adrian Marin out at first.
Tyler Wade was also in the starting lineup, getting one hit in four trips and driving in a run on a sacrifice fly on what was otherwise a forgettable day compared to many other players on the day.
Surprise improved to 8-3 on the season and have taken over first place in the first place in the Western Division.