Yankees manager Aaron Boone has been impressed with the way catcher Gary Sanchez has played both offensively and defensively so far this spring.
Sanchez is 4-for-10 with one home run and two RBIs so far this spring. Behind the plate on Sunday, he threw out the Tampa Bay Rays' Mallex Smith trying to steal second on a Chad Green pitch.
"I thought Smith had a really good jump and we weren't overly quick to the plate," Boone said, according to Newsday's Erik Boland. "That's one of those where you kind of elbow each other over there [in the dugout] and go, 'Did you just see that?' ... The one thing we didn't get on the bench was his pop time."
Sanchez threw out 23 of 60 runners last season, which ranked just outside the top five among all MLB catchers last season, however he was tied for the league lead in passed balls and and errors committed as a catcher, something he spent the offseason trying to improve upon.
"I love what I'm seeing from him from a work standpoint and then going in a game and leading and I think he's receiving really well," Boone said. "He was blocking great all day. I don't know how many balls in the dirt -- six, seven, eight, probably. And a few of them with runner on third base. I think he's in a really good place defensively right now."
While his presence at the plate has mostly gone under the radar given the presence of power-hitting outfielders Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, Boone said he enjoys watching Sanchez, who hit .278 with 33 home runs and 90 RBIs in 122 games last season, hit.
"It's fun to watch him go up there and hit," Boone said last week, according to the New York Post's George A. King III. "It feels like he is on the hunt. He is up there looking to do damage. He has such a good look up there. Early on he looks incredibly comfortable up there."
Added Sanchez: "The plan never changes, my personal plan is just do the job. You don't worry about that, make sure you are doing your job regardless of what is going on in the clubhouse.''