Gary Sanchez knows he needs to improve his defense after last season, and that is all he has been working on this offseason.
"This offseason, I worked really hard on defense because I want to be better than last year," Sanchez told The Post's Dan Martin through his translator. "I want to fix all the little issues I had last year defensively and keep improving."
Sanchez came into Spring Training looking leaner as well, and though he said he didn't lose any weight, his physique could aid in his defensive abilities this season. The Yankees will hope so as his 16 passed balls last season were the most by any catcher.
Former Yankees manager Joe Girardi was hard on Sanchez given his catching background. He knew the budding star could be better defensively, and Sanchez took his words to heart.
"Looking back at all the things Girardi said, I feel all that stuff he said was to make me be better," Sanchez said. "At the end of the year, I thought he helped me get better. It's tough to go through, but you have to learn from that and keep getting better. You also have to move on."
At the plate is where Sanchez is most comfortable, though. And he loves that the Yankees now have three sluggers after the acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton.
"It's a great acquisition," he said about Stanton. "It's a big powerful bat in a lineup that's gonna contribute a lot...It caught me by surprise when I heard the news [of the trade]."
Like most of the Yankees, losing in the ALCS still doesn't sit well with Sanchez.
"We'll try to do what we did last year," he said. "There's definitely motivation whenever you get to be a part of a a playoff run and be part of that atmosphere. You want to keep doing that every year. I feel great and am ready to go."
In his first full season with the Yankees, Sanchez hit .278, 33 home runs, and notched 90 RBIs over 122 games.