Although Mark Newman publicly stated that it was unlikely Gary Sanchez would get promoted to Double-A Trenton this season, the team decided to pull the trigger anyway. He only has just a couple of handful of games under his belt at the level, but the top Yankee prospect has shown no signs of being overmatched against Eastern League competition.
In 12 games and 60 plate appearances, Sanchez is hitting a solid .292/.433/.396 for Trenton. This comes after the catcher hitting .254/.313/.420 in 94 games and 399 plate appearances for the Tampa Yankees. Not just with the Thunder, but overall this season, Sanchez's biggest improvement at the plate has been the strikeouts, or a lack thereof. He has struck out just 78 times in 459 plate appearances (16.9%). Just two seasons ago, Sanchez struck out 93 times in only 343 PA's (27%). In fact, his strikeout rate has been on a downward trend each of the past few seasons (2011: 27%, 2012: 22%, 2013: 17%). Yeah, strikeouts are just outs in the big picture, but it's nice to see him put the ball in play more than he had in previous years.
The reason Sanchez wasn't supposed to be promoted this year was so he could work on his defense down in Tampa. I'm not sure whether he improved enough to the point where he could be promoted or if the team just wanted him to get his feet wet with the Thunder no matter what. He was probably slated to start with the Thunder in 2014 even if he stuck around in Tampa for the rest of this season anyway. Over the past couple of seasons, Sanchez has continued to solidify himself as the team's top prospect and it's nice to see him succeed early on in what is arguably the toughest level in the minors.