Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Gary Sanchez is running away in the American League Rookie of the Year Award race

46 Comments

Another day, another two home runs and five RBI for Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez. Sanchez tagged Rays starter Alex Cobb for a three-run home run in the top of the second inning and belted one off of Justin Marks, a solo shot in the top of the sixth inning of Wednesday night’s 11-5 win by New York. This on the heels of an RBI single in the first inning. Following his at-bats against the Rays, Sanchez is sitting on a .337/.410/.747 triple-slash line with 19 home runs and 38 RBI in 166 at-bats. He’s homered in four consecutive games now.

As a result, Sanchez made some Major League Baseball history in the process:

Sanchez was brought up for one start on May 13, going 0-for-4, then was sent back down to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The Yankees brought him back up on August 3 and the rest is history.

Indians outfielder Tyler Naquin seemed to be the favorite for the American League Rookie of the Year Award before Sanchez burst onto the scene. FanGraphs lists him at 2.1 Wins Above Replacement, while Baseball Reference has him at 0.6. Sanchez, in roughly half the plate appearances, has respective WARs of 2.9 and 2.7.

Tigers starter Michael Fulmer and Astros reliever Chris Devenski also deserve mention. Fulmer has a 3.03 ERA and a 120/39 K/BB ratio in 148 2/3 innings, helping stabilize — with Justin Verlander, of course — what has otherwise been a shaky starting rotation. Devenski, in five starts and 41 relief appearances, has a 1.98 ERA and a 97/19 K/BB ratio in 104 2/3 innings.

But it’s Sanchez’s award to lose now. And it doesn’t look like he’s going to be cooling off anytime soon.

Video: Nolan Arenado collects 200th career home run

Nolan Arenado
AP Images
Leave a comment

The Rockies fell 9-6 to the Orioles on Saturday, but the loss wasn’t without its bright spots. Case in point: Third baseman Nolan Arenado passed a significant career milestone on an Andrew Cashner fastball in the third inning, slugging the ball a projected 394 feet into the left field stands for his 200th career home run.

Arenado is the 34th active player to join the 200+ homer club and the first to do so since the Braves’ Freddie Freeman crossed that threshold on May 19. The three-run shot was the infielder’s 14th of the season and third since Friday, when he went deep twice against Orioles rookie John Means and reliever Shawn Armstrong. Following Saturday’s performance, he’s batting a robust .333/.377/.632 with 30 extra-base hits, 42 RBI, and a 1.009 OPS through 220 plate appearances.

He isn’t the only Rockies slugger making history, either. Arenado’s feat trailed that of Trevor Story, who clobbered an 0-2 pitch from Armstrong during the seventh inning of Friday’s 8-6 win. The two-run blast was his 100th home run in 448 career games, making him the fastest shortstop to reach the mark in MLB history.

The Rockies will vie for the series win as they round out the series on Sunday, with right-hander German Márquez scheduled to take the bump against fellow righty David Hess at 3:10 PM EDT.