TAMPA – One of Aaron Boone's primary goals when he got the job at the Yankees at the end of 2017 was to create a relationship with Gary Sanchez after the prisoner fought behind the record in Joe Girardis last year in the Dugout.
Sanchez's results in Boone's first season were hardly encouraging when Sanchez finished with an MLB-worst 18 passed balls, despite playing only 89 games. And Sanchez did not stand up for the defensive expiration with his bat when his production dropped with an OPS of just .697, down from .876 in 2017.
Boone visited Sanchez and his wife in the Dominican Republic in the offseason after Sanchez had undergone debridement surgery on his left (non-throw) shoulder and remains convinced that the 26-year-old is ready to jump back.
"The conversations I had with him saw me a young player together for another year and mature and honestly very hungry to show how good a player he is," Boone said.
Sanchez told the post last week that he would be ready to start spring training, and Boone agreed.
does it really well, "Boone said during his spring training opening press conference. Wednesday at George M. Steinbrenner Field. "His body is in really good shape. I think he has a really good year for us on both sides of the ball. "
His skills were not on the display a year ago, even though he showed flashes, including a two-game game in ALDS 2, Yankees & # 39; the only victory over the Red Sox.
And Boone recognized where important it is for the Yankees that Sanchez lives up to its potential.
"I am excited about his state of mind right now and I expect him ̵
Asked about Sanchez's state of mind Boone believes that the difficulties Sanchez faces during his catastrophic 2018 will pay dividends this season.
"I just think he's a years more mature, "Boone said." Through some of the things he went through last year … bump in the road, fighting – especially as a young player – can be good things in the big scheme of things for a career. Especially when you are a talented guy like Gary, there is no doubt about the things he physically went through. I think he will benefit him forward. "
They wanted it better because the Yankees can't afford another creepy season from Sanchez, who evoked one of the top offensive hunters in the game when he was called in well in 2016 and then was an All Star. the following season.
"To see him talk passionately about things that matter to him, I feel there is growth there and the maturity there, & # 39; & # 39; said Boone. "There is a real hunger to go out and show how good a player he is."