Gary Sánchez May 31, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; San Diego Padres catcher Gary Sanchez (99) round third base after hitting a home run against the Miami Marlins during the third inning at loanDepot Park. Mandatory Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

Gary Sánchez was once one of baseball’s most promising young players. But through the early part of the 2023 season, his future in Major League Baseball seemed bleak. But since signing with the San Diego Padres, Sánchez has rediscovered his old form.

Sánchez entered Friday’s game against the Colorado Rockies slashing at .310/.375/.793 with four home runs in nine games with the Padres.

He kept that hot streak going on Friday, slugging a two-run home run in the second inning.

The MLB world has taken notice of Sánchez’s sudden revitalization.

Sánchez had not shown this form in many years.

Over the 2016 and 2017 seasons, Sánchez seemed to be a foundational player for the New York Yankees. He hit 53 home runs over those two years, slashing at .284/.354/.569. But while Sánchez maintained his power after that, his overall hitting significantly dipped, as he slashed .201/.299/.444 from 2018-2021. The 2022 season with the Minnesota Twins brought more of the same. Sánchez had a respectable 16 home runs for Minnesota, but largely struggled at the plate, hitting .205/.282/.377.

He signed a Minor League deal with the San Francisco Giants just before the 2023 season began, but after hitting .164/.319/.182 in Triple-A, the Giants didn’t call him up and Sánchez opted for free agency. Sánchez then signed another Minor League deal, this time with the New York Mets. He hit better at the Minor League level and was called up, but that success did not translate to the majors, prompting the Mets to designate Sánchez for assignment.

So, it’s hard to figure out exactly, what changed. But whatever it is, Sánchez and the Padres are no doubt happy about it.

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