BOSTON — The rivalry between the Red Sox and New York Yankees seems to have cooled off in recent years, but it might be close to reigniting.
The Red Sox have been working with a young core since the end of 2015, and the Yankees joined the youth movement at this season’s non-waiver trade deadline, collecting prospects to beef up their farm system. New York has had success with its September call-ups so far, and it’s looking as though the next generation of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry already is here.
And Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, who hit his 15th home run in his 40th major league game Saturday against the Red Sox, could play a big role in it.
“They have one hell of a catcher,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said before Saturday’s game. “That’s a dangerous hitter. I think defensively he has been much more than maybe we anticipated. The accuracy to his throws, the arm strength that he has, his blocking ability — he’s a front line player. And to be thrust in the middle of an order at this stage of his career, that speaks volumes.”
Sanchez has been a truly remarkable hitter so far. That’s abundantly clear when you look at the location of the 95-mph David Price fastball the 23-year-old launched 436 feet Saturday, too.
The Red Sox have the likes of Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Andrew Benintendi leading their youth brigade, but the Yankees finally are catching up. And Farrell believes younger players are a key to success on any team.
“I think for any organization, young, athletic and controllable players, that’s the lifeblood of any organization,” Farrell said. “And you see it all around the game. You can’t replace durability, and when young players can stay on the field more regularly, you’ve got a chance to produce, and we’re realizing that.”
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