2017 Twins Player Predictions: Miguel Sano
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins DailyWhat can Miguel Sano do in 2017? Can he take the next step and put it all together offensively and defensively? Can he come close to the .916 OPS he put up in 80 games as a rookie, or will his OPS be closer to the .781 mark he hit in 2016?
Below you will find my predictions (or guesses, if you prefer) for Miguel Sano’s 2017 season. Consider posting your thoughts and your predictions into the comments below. It’s always fun to take a look at the end of the season and see how our predictions look.
35.5% and 36.0% - These are Miguel Sano’s strikeout rates in his first two MLB seasons. Frankly, these are numbers that really need to drop. It isn’t going to happen over night, and his 43% K-Rate in spring training doesn’t exactly lend itself to much confidence. As disappointing, his walk rate dropped from 15.8% in his freshman season to 10.9% in his second season. 10.9% is still solid, no question about that, but these two numbers are patterns to watch.
Consider slugger Chris Carter. He led the the National League with 41 home runs in 2016, yet he had to wait most of the offseason to sign (for just $3 million) in large part because he’s one-dimensional and strikes out a ton. Just once in the last five years has he had a K-rate as high as Sano’s these first two years. He’s been in the 31-32% range except one year he had a 36.2% K-rate. It’s just indicative of why it’s important for Sano to do more than DH and reduce his strikeout rate.
0.896 - That is the fielding percentage Sano had in 42 games in 2017. Not to beat a dead horse, but Sano will have to prove he can handle the position. Personally, I think he’ll be fine, bumping that number closer to 0.940. With the Twins in a transition season, hopefully between a 59-win season and a possible playoff berth, it’s worth giving Sano the full year, but his value is much higher if he can stay at third base.
Miguel Sano: 553 at-bats, .253/.346/.506 (.852), 32 doubles, 3 triples, 34 home runs.
Part of these numbers is Sano finding a way to stay on the field. I have him playing in 148 games. If he is able to stay at third base and stay healthy, I think he’ll put up some monster numbers, probably even higher than what I have shown here. The key, of course, will be finding a way to put the ball in play more often. Striking out 36% of the time just isn’t a good way to find success. If he is able to play this much I have little doubt that he will be able to put up his first 30-homer season.
It will be an interesting season for Miguel Sano, filled with lots of questions. Can he reduce his strikeout rate? How many runs can he drive in? Will he be able to play adequately at third base, or will he be limited to just DHing for the rest of his career?
Your turn. Share your thoughts on and predictions on Miguel Sano in 2017. We can take a look back at the end of the season and see how we did.