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Miguel Sano's Struggles

MIguel Sano has been a hot mess at the plate pretty much all season. Statistically, he has had career highs and lows in all the wrong categories warranting the need to push pause on his 2018 season.

The demotion to Fort Myers should give him the opportunity to clean up his swing as well as recuperate from whatever lingering leg injuries have been stifling him. When it comes to his swing, you may be asking yourself what exactly does the big man have to clean up? Let's take a look.
Image courtesy of Harrison Barden-USA TODAY SPORTS







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21 Comments

Very nice analysis

 

    • glunn, tarheeltwinsfan and D.C Twins like this

You can really see his weight gain in these pictures, too.

    • Jerr, tarheeltwinsfan, SF Twins Fan and 2 others like this

You can really see his weight gain in these pictures, too.


I would assume the more mass there is on his body, the harder it is to keep his hands inside.
    • tarheeltwinsfan likes this
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Kelly Vance
Jun 15 2018 10:05 PM

Simple.  He needs to get in shape and buy some eyeglasses.

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tarheeltwinsfan
Jun 16 2018 07:06 AM

Thanks Parker. I wonder if the types of pitches being thrown and whether the pitcher is a lefty or a righty affect your analysis. For example, outside and low may be predominantly breaking balls from a right hander. What pitches are predominantly inner third? High and tight fastballs from a right handed pitcher? Or a left handed pitcher throwing a breaking ball in, down and low? Lots of variables here. High, low, fast, slow, right handed, left handed, ball movement, runner on second, which may require Sano to try to hit the ball to right field ( OK sorry, I may have gotten carried away here). I would enjoy reading an interview with a hitting coach about this topic, maybe not specifically about Sano, but about how a hitting coach finds and trys to fix flaws in hitters.. 

 

I would assume the more mass there is on his body, the harder it is to keep his hands inside.

I would assume so too, but then again I'm no batting expert. I defer to Parker's impressive analysis of Sano and his struggles. I think the lingering leg problems that he mentioned could be one of the keys.

    • scottz and MN_ExPat like this
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Parker Hageman
Jun 16 2018 08:26 AM

 

Thanks Parker. I wonder if the types of pitches being thrown and whether the pitcher is a lefty or a righty affect your analysis... 

 

The data points above are all pitches from both hands. The majority of those pitches are fastballs. In the video example provided, both pitches are 92-94 mph fastballs that ran to the 4-spot on the GameDay zone profile (middle-in). We could obviously analysis this further and breakdown what pitch he had just seen and what he might have been expecting however the characteristic that should stand out is what he is doing with his hands in his swing. 

 

This isn't unique to just pitches inside, either. Here's another look at two swings on pitches down/away from 2015 (L) and 2018 ®. Notice how the hands stay closer to the body while the more recent swing he has his hands reaching. 

 

Attached Image: IMG_1016.jpg

 

Someone pointed out he is further away from the plate this season than in 2015, which may be driving some of the reaching, but I tend to circle back to the notion that he's not entire healthy in the lower-half. If you aren't healthy, you aren't using your whole body and you start doing things like getting more armsy or trying to muscle the ball out instead of leveraging it out. 

    • Carole Keller, Jerr, scottz and 5 others like this
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OldTimeTwinkie
Jun 16 2018 08:39 AM
Looks like he's more in a closed stance in 2018 thus flying open more than 2017. Unintended consequences of that stance maybe.
Conditioning and weight are relative to each persons body. There just is no way around the extra 30 lbs. Sano is carrying. It's not whether the leg injury was the cause of the gain or his lifestyle, it's the 30 lbs. and I totally agree, if his leg is still week and it may easily be, you don't hit well on bad pins. I broke my fibula in Jan. The bone is healed but the leg isn't close to normal strength yet. And that's the small bone.
    • tarheeltwinsfan likes this
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Parker Hageman
Jun 16 2018 08:54 AM

Someone asked on Twitter what sort of drills would work to improve this. One that came to mind was Robinson Cano's screen drill. You place a screen over the middle of the plate and feed pitches on the inner-half. Hitters cannot extend their arms so they have to keep their hands in and rotate. 

 

Attached Image: DFdIVovVoAEo8Dm.jpg

    • Carole Keller, ashbury, Jerr and 6 others like this
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tarheeltwinsfan
Jun 16 2018 11:03 AM

Thank you for article and for the comments Parker, Very informative.

    • D.C Twins likes this
Bummer, whatever it is, it's a bummer. Some really good stuff here, thanks!

They are busting him in and he can't do much about it.

 

Look, I am not saying this is THE issue, but it's hard to get around the fact that he isn't in very good shape and he came off micro fracture surgery.HIs quick twitch muscle reaction just isn't what it was.This has reeked havoc on his confidence and ability to handle those pitches and that has an affect on what Parker calls pitch recognition.His conditioning and mindset go hand and hand and those two things are the root cause for a lot of his issues.If that questions his work ethic or character as a ballplayer then so be it.

 

I have been a huge Sano backer since I saw Pelotero Ballplayer.I have been rooting for him and even when the allegations came through this winter I was still in his corner. Right now it is hard to brush off how he got to where he is.It is more to do with his own inactivity and overconfidence he had in coming back from the surgery without doing the work necessary.  

Life is a series of choices. I’ve been a big supporter of Sano and given him a pass on his weight. Now it’s clear that he is very immature and not very disciplined. Miguel talks a good game but he is clearly not backing up the words. From the accusations of sexual misconduct to not being able to step away from the dinner table to swinging at the same out of the zone pitches over and over it’s apparent he has a very long way to go. I hope he makes it but it will take major life changes for it to happen.
    • Jerr and laloesch like this

Someday Miguel Sano will get back in decent shape. Then, he will be able to play baseball at a high level. 

 

Someday Miguel Sano will get back in decent shape. Then, he will be able to play baseball at a high level. 

 

Maybe.Some people do some don't.

    • Jerr and jimbo92107 like this

Sano's issues are from the neck up; not the neck down. Does he have the burning desire to play baseball at the highest level or would he be content to go home to the DR and live happily there after? No more complicated than that. Only those who really know Sano can answer that and batting analysis does no good unless that question is answered.

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nicksaviking
Jul 16 2018 08:16 AM

How much are the Red Sox paying Fernando Tatis to manage their DR team? If he has truly been a good influence on Sano and is a good mentor the Twins should offer him double and find a spot for him in Ft. Myers. I can't imagine DR managersmake all that much.

If you're a fangraphs guy, you have seen that the Twins have gotten $42.7M in value from Sano while paying him $1.7M. He's not due free agency money for another four years and he is only 25.

 

He came back from Tommy John surgery and he is still recovering from leg surgery.

 

If you are worried about his future, you're erasing a lot of history.

Sano's issues are from the neck up; not the neck down. Does he have the burning desire to play baseball at the highest level or would he be content to go home to the DR and live happily there after? No more complicated than that. Only those who really know Sano can answer that and batting analysis does no good unless that question is answered.

this is way oversimplified. There’s no way to know what his motivation is.

 

Conditioning and weight are relative to each persons body. There just is no way around the extra 30 lbs. Sano is carrying. It's not whether the leg injury was the cause of the gain or his lifestyle, it's the 30 lbs. and I totally agree, if his leg is still week and it may easily be, you don't hit well on bad pins. I broke my fibula in Jan. The bone is healed but the leg isn't close to normal strength yet. And that's the small bone.

 

30?If he is at 300 lbs. per reports he's probably closer to 40-50 pounds overweight. 

    • Jerr likes this

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