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View Full Version : Article: Is Sano Too Big to Stay at Third?



Nick Nelson
01-31-2013, 10:13 PM
You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.com/content.php?r=1346-Is-Sano-Too-Big-to-Stay-at-Third

cmathewson
01-31-2013, 10:35 PM
Some of those weight totals are low. Rodriguez is a monster. I find it hard to believe he's only 225; 240 seems more reasonable. And Cabrera is over 250 easily. Still if Sano continues to grow, he's destined for first base.

glunn
01-31-2013, 10:44 PM
My understanding is that Sano is pretty fast and has a good arm. Maybe he would be more valuable in right field than at first base?

jimbo92107
01-31-2013, 11:32 PM
Right handed, strong arm, not a great fielder, but power bat. That sounds more like a right fielder, not a first baseman. Bigger Willingham.

old nurse
01-31-2013, 11:52 PM
Body fat might be a more indicative of a problem than the size itself. UZR/150 for Rolen was always pretty good until he turned 35 or so.

Nick Nelson
02-01-2013, 01:55 AM
Some of those weight totals are low.
I wouldn't doubt that. BR has Sano listed at 195 (ha!). Still, as you said, that doesn't change the fact that he's a huge kid.

twinsfaninsaudi
02-01-2013, 06:37 AM
Some of those weight totals are low. Rodriguez is a monster. I find it hard to believe he's only 225; 240 seems more reasonable. And Cabrera is over 250 easily. Still if Sano continues to grow, he's destined for first base.

I gotta agree with that. How can it be that Sano and Cabrera weigh the same? Just look at them, Sano looks so much thinner and wiry compared to Cabrera. Is this a muscle weighs more than fat thing? Cabrera is a blubbery chunk vs. Sano the stalwart stallion?

Cody Christie
02-01-2013, 06:41 AM
Sandoval is a pretty big boy over at third too.

Winston Smith
02-01-2013, 08:46 AM
Troy Glaus was very close in size, he was 6' 5" and a big guy that played 3rd for a long time. Leave him there until he proves that he must be moved.

Seth Stohs
02-01-2013, 08:48 AM
I've said it before, and it's only from seeing him 6 games last year, but I would keep him there as long as they can. Keep working with him. Unlike Sandoval, Sano is a tremendous athlete. He's been working on his first-step quickness. He's got good hands and a strong arm. First base is easy. He could move over there one day and be alright there. Even if he can only stay there until he's 28, 29, that's very valuable.

As others have said too though, it may not work if he gets too much bigger, but first base is always a fallback.

When I was able to interview him at Twins Fest last weekend, through a translator, he did say he's been working very hard on his defense. that said, he also said that he expected the Dominican Winter League to be much more difficult. His thing is hitting. It'll always be hitting. Defense, well, they'll find a place, but if he works, I still say keep him there as long as you can.

Steve Lein
02-01-2013, 09:52 AM
I agree with Seth, I've been impressed with the athleticism Sano can show at that size. He's not a plodder, and has far more bounce in his step than Cabrera. Could that change over time? Sure. But you keep him there as long as there's a chance.

I like RF more as a fall back because of his arm, but Sano is a guy who's bat will play anywhere.

SDFan
02-01-2013, 10:12 AM
I hate to even bring this up - but reading this article I just kept thinking to myself "Are we really sure he's only 19?" Would he be as big a prospect if he were 23?

birdwatcher
02-01-2013, 10:46 AM
A lot of the players listed aren't really THAT much smaller.

birdwatcher
02-01-2013, 10:52 AM
Thinking well out into the future, there are some impressive outfield defenders coming up, and most appear likely to be able to hit. Seems to me it would make sense to put a first baseman's glove in a few of those lockers just to increase the ability to keep some guys in the lineup. I'm thinking guys like Kepler, Arcia, Goodrum, Benson, Walker, etc.

Steve Lein
02-01-2013, 11:04 AM
Thinking well out into the future, there are some impressive outfield defenders coming up, and most appear likely to be able to hit. Seems to me it would make sense to put a first baseman's glove in a few of those lockers just to increase the ability to keep some guys in the lineup. I'm thinking guys like Kepler, Arcia, Goodrum, Benson, Walker, etc.

I know Kepler has played a lot of 1B, not necessarily in the minors with the Twins, but that's what he was playing in Germany. Of the other names you throw out, I'd say Walker might be the only one where that makes sense.

Kwak
02-01-2013, 11:16 AM
"Too big?" "Does or Doesn't" is the real real question with respect to Sano's play at 3B.

diehardtwinsfan
02-01-2013, 11:39 AM
He's going to stay at 3rd as long as possible. Period. It isn't as though there's some glaring hole in the OF that they can slot him into... Honestly, if he hits anywhere close to his potential, his defense can be below average and he'd still be a huge asset.

Siehbiscuit
02-01-2013, 12:20 PM
He's going to stay at 3rd as long as possible. Period. It isn't as though there's some glaring hole in the OF that they can slot him into... Honestly, if he hits anywhere close to his potential, his defense can be below average and he'd still be a huge asset.

I completely agree. If he can be average at 3B he becomes so much more valuable. But this kid is entering Giancarlo (Mike) Stanton territory. In all honesty, I don't know that I am that concerned about his defense. His bat is what makes this kid the #12 overall BA prospect. That quality needs to be the one that we are all concerned about.

Top Gun
02-02-2013, 01:08 AM
3b is fine, why even think about it.

kab21
02-02-2013, 01:12 AM
I get frustrated whenever I see an article like this and people immediately think that the article says Sano has a zero chance at staying at 3B. This article is focused on the reality of whether or not he realistically will stick at 3B. I see a kid that is already as big as the biggest 3Bman in the league although a few weights are underreported. I expect him to grow and it's pretty likely that he's 6'5" and 270 by age 25. Realistically I think the odds are getting pretty low that he will stick at 3B regardless of how athletic he is or "how much he wants it" (quote from the other thread). I was at 50/50 earlier in the offseason but I think I'll put his odds at <25% that he sticks at 3B past age 25.

What odds do you give him? Are you willing to slow his promotion to the majors by 1-2 yrs so his defense is simply bad at the MLB level? The Royals and Nats faced this issue with Myers and harper at catcher and both chose to move them to the OF. 2013 will definitely be spent at 3B to see how well his defensive tools (they are very good) translate to actual defense. The big decision will come next offseason. If he can stay at 3B if would be awesome for the Twins but Sano could be awesome at any position.

spideyo
02-02-2013, 12:21 PM
I don't think you should move him solely because of his size. If he can provide league-average defense, he is far more valuable to our future at 3b. If/When Morneau leaves or is traded, Mauer/Doumit/Parmelee (maybe even Plouffe) should be able to hold down 1B for at least the next 5 years.

Plus, if you work like hell on his defense at third, and the conditioning needed to play 3b every day, I think it will be better for his long term career (in terms of health and baseball IQ) than just shuffling him out to catch flyballs or standing on 1b waiting for balls to get thrown at him. You can always move him later.


Don't forget, Gentleman Jim was exclusively a 3B for the first five years of his major league career, and I think we could do worse than Sano turning into the next Thome.

Mave
02-02-2013, 03:11 PM
Pablo. Sandoval.

Sano is 19, and sure he may not be done growing, but regardless of that, let him adapt to his growing body before limiting his positional value. Given that time frame (and his aforementioned athletic ability), I really think the defense will iron itself out over time.

Also, just look at all of the offensive production/ability provided by the names above. Can Sano produce on this level? I don't see why not. It's been fun to hop online and see the numbers he has put up in his short career.

Thrylos
02-02-2013, 04:56 PM
This is an interesting discussion. Wish there were internets a while back, so the similar discussion on whether Cal Ripken is too big to be a shortstop would be googleable :)

I think that he will probably end up smaller than Miguel Cabrera and definitely smaller than the Panda. Whether he grows as a fielder is more important than size. Travis Harrison (albeit a bit smaller, but equally stiff) is in the same equation and with a slew of OFs coming up, you cannot have 2 first basemen. And if Kennys Vargas hits in A+/AA this season the way he hit in A last season, there would be a third name in the equation. This is a good problem to have and I think it is just too early to tell (or even ask this question...) We shall find out in time.

SockNet
02-03-2013, 09:15 AM
"Too big?" "Does or Doesn't" is the real real question with respect to Sano's play at 3B.

Thank you! What's the difference in two inches? Probably not much. Weight should not matter as long as it is good weight (muscle) and as long as that bulk does not affect his mobility. Does he have acceptable range both ways? Can he read balls, charge and retreat well? Can he throw? Does he know where he needs to be and when he needs to be there? No one is ever forced to change positions because of their size. They are forced to change because they are not good enough. Sano's size does not imply any lack of ability and/or potential ability. Sano is being judged on markers. The Twins want X amount of skills developed by Y dates to be ready for the majors by Z age/year.If he falls behind on those markers he will be moved.

Badsmerf
02-03-2013, 12:25 PM
Thank you! What's the difference in two inches? Probably not much. Weight should not matter as long as it is good weight (muscle) and as long as that bulk does not affect his mobility. Does he have acceptable range both ways? Can he read balls, charge and retreat well? Can he throw? Does he know where he needs to be and when he needs to be there? No one is ever forced to change positions because of their size. They are forced to change because they are not good enough. Sano's size does not imply any lack of ability and/or potential ability. Sano is being judged on markers. The Twins want X amount of skills developed by Y dates to be ready for the majors by Z age/year.If he falls behind on those markers he will be moved.
Lot of assumptions in your post. Size does matter since the bigger you get the less agility you have. Some big guys have plenty of ability, watch the NBA those guys are huge and can move.... I doubt they could move well enough to play 3b however. It also isn't just height, he also has a frame that could bulk up. He isn't tall and skinny. We're all hoping he can figure it out, but the odds are against him since he already is a bad fielder.

SockNet
02-03-2013, 02:15 PM
Lot of assumptions in your post. Size does matter since the bigger you get the less agility you have. Some big guys have plenty of ability, watch the NBA those guys are huge and can move.... I doubt they could move well enough to play 3b however. It also isn't just height, he also has a frame that could bulk up. He isn't tall and skinny. We're all hoping he can figure it out, but the odds are against him since he already is a bad fielder.

What am I assuming? Other than the comment about height, I qualified every statement I made. You are assuming Sano's size equals less agility. You don't know that. I addressed your concerns about Sano bulking up and his agility which is finely tuned mobility. I would tend to agree NBA players couldn't play 3b because, well, they are trained to play basketball not Major League 3b(I've never liked comparing sports, difficult to defend and/or refute). Again though, that's an assumption. As for his fielding, he may be bad now but when was the last time a polished 19 year old infielder broke into the majors? The last two position players I can remember are Andruw Jones and Bryce Harper, both outfielders. I just think it's too early to be having this discussion with regards to Sano. He is at least a full year away and likely more.