A few years back, this was Sanchez. And he also carved out time in his busy baseball life to take one-on-one classes. He started the sessions during his first professional season, rookie ball in 2009, but took it to another level in 2012.
"I get the opportunity to take English classes and I take advantage, and tried to learn every day," Sanchez said, his grammar still not perfect but close. "That's all about it, getting better, learning. That's how you survive in life."
Longtime Giants equipment manager Mike Murphy has nicknamed the affable catcher after actor George Clooney, and Sanchez immediately plays along by pulling off his black Giants cap and rubbing his hair — which, while far darker, is almost a spitting image of Clooney's precisely groomed 'do.
On another day this spring near the dugout, reliever Santiago Casilla used a mix of English and Spanish to ask Giants athletic trainer Dave Groeschner for medicine to help alleviate a pregame headache.
"I understand everything but it's a little bit difficult to speak it clearly. It doesn't scare me, but I understand more studying while I listen," he said.
While Seattle second baseman Robinson Cano is at ease speaking fluent English, the Dominican star regularly can be seen razzing teammates while speaking Spanish a mile a minute. Cano briefly attended high school in New Jersey.
"I went to school here, so I learned English," said Cano, who received a $240 million, 10-year contract to join the Mariners last offseason after nine years with the New York Yankees. "But it's hard speaking your second language."