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Nick Nelson
08-13-2013, 09:25 PM
You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.com/content.php?r=2225-What-s-the-Plan-Miguel-Sano

Shane Wahl
08-13-2013, 09:31 PM
This is a very good picture of the possibilities. I think a September call and yet starting at AAA next season might be the best route. I don't think Plouffe would get buried in such a scenario, especially if Morneau ends up being claimed and traded. There's a DH spot for Sano and Plouffe, and Plouffe can get some work in at 1B, LF, and/or RF. Looking at 2014, if Morneau and Willingham are gone, Plouffe could be looking at a move somewhere anyway.

Larsbars08
08-13-2013, 09:47 PM
I posted this on a different thread, but it's on topic so I'll include it here.



I admit I wasn't sure Sano should get a September call-up, but at this point, why not? He's been tearing AA pitching apart the last month or so. At this rate, he's going to be on the MLB team next year. Why not give him his cup of tea in September, wait for his super 2 status to pass next year and then call him up for good in June. Unless Plouffe starts tearing it up, there isn't really any reason to keep Sano down. He's going to strike out a ton, might as well let him start adjusting to major league pitching in September and give him something to work on during the offseason.

I don't have any problem seeing him come up in September.

I think my suggestion is a combination of the aggressive and conservative approach. Please let me know if I'm missing anything.

Edit: I posted this on the same article but in Nick's blog. Is there a difference between the two?

Jdosen
08-13-2013, 09:50 PM
I really hope the Twins take a more conservative route with Sano. I wanted them to leave Hicks in AAA for a month in order to gain that extra year of control, which might not end up being worth a whole lot 6 years from now if it turns out he just can't hit. However for Sano, I think it will be very much in the Twins interests to hold him back in AAA a month or so as that extra year of Sano could be worth 20-30 million dollars down the road, as well as giving them an extra year to try and iron out a contract extension. I am very fearful they bring him up to open 2014 as the starting 3B.

clutterheart
08-13-2013, 09:54 PM
I am hoping the Twins are conservative.

1 - No need to start his clock. He is a prospect who the Twins should play the service time game on.
2 - He had a hard adjustment to AA pitching. Obviously he has come along but why not give him the chance to adjust to the junk ball throwers at AAA?
3 - Plouffe is showing just enough that he could potentially be a RH bat bench at 3B and from reports ive seen, he seems to be a good clubhouse guy. I would like him to break camp at 3B.

Best case is Sano plays decent in Spring Training, get sent to AAA, does well then when late June rolls around he gets called up for good.

darin617
08-13-2013, 10:18 PM
You can view the page at Twins Daily - What's the Plan: Miguel Sano (http://twinsdaily.com/content.php?r=2225-What-s-the-Plan-Miguel-Sano)

I thought the plan was for Sano to possibly get a September call up in 2015...

darin617
08-13-2013, 10:21 PM
[QUOTE=clutterheart;152052]I am hoping the Twins are conservative.

1 - No need to start his clock. He is a prospect who the Twins should play the service time game on.

To bad this was not the thought with Aaron Hicks.

CharacterGroove
08-13-2013, 10:21 PM
Put me down for the aggressive route. I think Sano will have a much more productive offseason after gettingng a feel for the what it takes. That, in turn, benefits the Twins.

To me a poor reason to hold Sano back is because of "team control." This reason alone likely results in a worse product on the field and a disgruntled top prospect.

righty8383
08-13-2013, 10:26 PM
I would be very excited to see Sano this year, but I would have no complaints if he debuts next year, hopefully no later than May though.

Tibs
08-13-2013, 10:36 PM
I think the Twins should go more towards the conservative route unless Sano completely forces the issue.

Seth Stohs
08-13-2013, 10:39 PM
I'm normally big on the conservative route, and agree with letting him dominate AA the rest of this year (which is only 3 weeks). Then let him dominate AAA for a month or two (I don't care about the Super 2 thing, but gaining the extra year could come into play (although Sano is definitely a guy to lock up for a long time!).

My biggest reason for not giving him the September call-up is the 40 man. He doesn't have to be added this offseason, and you would hate to potentially lose someone because of a spot. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty on this roster who could clear waivers and I haven't yet looked at who needs to be added.

The fan in me would love to see him. I've had a couple of reports from New Britain and more from Ft. Myers that say he's already a better 3B option defensively than Plouffe... and that's not speaking to his ability to hit with power. If he came up, likely he would strikeout like 40-50% of the time, but that might be a good learning tool for him. I would love to watch him.

Then again, I think the Twins need the extra month for Plouffe to play. I wouldn't mind them giving Deibinson Romero a month to see what he might be able to do or if they want to bring him back in 2014.

This is not an easy topic. It's not an easy decision by any means.

However, at this point, I fully expect that Miguel Sano will be the Twins opening day third baseman.

troyhobbs
08-13-2013, 10:53 PM
I thought Hicks and Arcia should have got Sept call ups last year as a reward for strong minor league seasons. Hicks Sano comparisons are irrelevant because Sano is a way more highly touted prospect than Hicks ever was and a top 3 in all of baseball. My vote is call him up in Sept and start him in AAA next year. This was supposed to be the year Plouffe took the starting 3B job and ran with it and that didn't happen so I don't have a problem with him losing meaningless at bats to Sano come September.

Oldgoat_MN
08-13-2013, 11:06 PM
AAA pitchers are better than AA pitchers. That's why they are in AAA and the AA pitchers are in AA. Many of them have been in MLB and are trying to get back there.

They are savvy, tricky, many of them pitch intelligently. Good enough, in fact, to have pitched in MLB and/or have attained a roster spot in AAA.

I like the idea of Sano proving that he can rock AAA pitching before we 'bring him up for good'. Cannot see a scenario where he starts at 3B in April next year.

I would not object to a September call up this year, but the 40 man roster thing is an issue, as Seth points out.

troyhobbs
08-13-2013, 11:23 PM
Devries, Bernier, Thomas, and Ramirez are a few guys that could potentially clear waivers but I do see the issue there. I'd also be interested to see what we have in Romero but unfortunately he's not on the 40 man either.

jokin
08-13-2013, 11:41 PM
AAA pitchers are better than AA pitchers. That's why they are in AAA and the AA pitchers are in AA. Many of them have been in MLB and are trying to get back there.

They are savvy, tricky, many of them pitch intelligently. Good enough, in fact, to have pitched in MLB and/or have attained a roster spot in AAA.

I like the idea of Sano proving that he can rock AAA pitching before we 'bring him up for good'. Cannot see a scenario where he starts at 3B in April next year.

I would not object to a September call up this year, but the 40 man roster thing is an issue, as Seth points out.

Bye-bye Hermsen, Hello Sano. Issue resolved.

twinstalker
08-14-2013, 12:36 AM
The question is simply: is Sano good enough that you want to control him through 2020 instead of just 2019?

It's not like he won't learn something in AAA. It will be the first time he consistently sees breaking balls at any count. It will be interesting to see how long it takes him to crush AAA. He only needs to not be on the 25-man for 11 major league days. It's too bad he's not eligible for the Arizona Fall League (foreign players from countries with winter leagues are not eligible).

scottsilvi
08-14-2013, 12:47 AM
You also gotta wonder (or, er, I do) about how the St Peters & Pohlads would feel about a Sept call up. I have to imagine attendance would spike... I know I would attend a couple games a week to see this kid play, and I've only been to a handful of games all year.

twinstalker
08-14-2013, 12:56 AM
I keep reading that Hicks may not hit. I don't think that's going to be an issue. He's been rushed, but I'd think he'd hit better next year than Clete Thomas is hitting this year. Eventually he'll be .270/.350/.430, good for a CF but not anything too special for a corner guy.

twinstalker
08-14-2013, 12:59 AM
You also gotta wonder (or, er, I do) about how the St Peters & Pohlads would feel about a Sept call up. I have to imagine attendance would spike... I know I would attend a couple games a week to see this kid play, and I've only been to a handful of games all year.
I don't see that as an issue here. While the Twins do stupid things in the name of "image," they aren't going to mess this up to make a few bucks.

Steve Penz
08-14-2013, 02:21 AM
Starting in AAA makes such good sense. Folks need to face the idea that when his current deal is up that the Twins will not be able to or will choose not to afford him. The team needs to preserve every year of control.

beckmt
08-14-2013, 04:38 AM
I think a few months at AAA would not hurt. If he tears up AAA by late May or June then call him up. He is a part of the future of this ball club. I would not give him a September call up, Plouffe needs to play and see what he has for the future. Unless he can move to first, he will be more of a super utility guy after next year(when Buxton arrives)

Badsmerf
08-14-2013, 06:41 AM
I'm torn about bringing him up. Plouffe will have the rest of this month and still the majority of September to prove his worth, so bringing Sano or (more likely) Romero up for a coffee would be to give them a taste. Similar to Benson and Parmelee, I don't think this is too far fetched at all. The 40-man thing might be a hindrance, but if they are planning on him taking over 3b sometime next season (better be) they are going to have to add him anyway.

I'd like to see him get the call in September just to see MLB pitchers. The game will be different and getting a taste will only make him better. He should still start the season in AAA until his arb clock is past in May. Then call him up and keep him up for good. Plouffe will need to start producing a little more to garner a starting spot. I doubt the Twins dump him anytime soon since he is cheap, provides position flexibility, and has some pop in his bat.

troyhobbs
08-14-2013, 06:55 AM
I think a few months at AAA would not hurt. If he tears up AAA by late May or June then call him up. He is a part of the future of this ball club. I would not give him a September call up, Plouffe needs to play and see what he has for the future. Unless he can move to first, he will be more of a super utility guy after next year(when Buxton arrives)

I think we know what Plouffe has at this point. .230 hitter with potential to hit 20 HR has a poor glove and has shown little to no improvement over the last 3 years. I don't hate him but don't think he's vital to Twins' future either.

mk
08-14-2013, 07:22 AM
I think it depends on what TR plans to do with Gardenhire at the end of the season.

It seems Sano would NOT be a Gardenhire guy - brash, confident, not a light hitting middle infielder, etc. If Gardy will be gone by 2014, I think it would be better to wait to call up Sano until the new manager arrives so Gardy doesn't insist on him slapping singles to right field..

Badsmerf
08-14-2013, 08:21 AM
I think it depends on what TR plans to do with Gardenhire at the end of the season.

It seems Sano would NOT be a Gardenhire guy - brash, confident, not a light hitting middle infielder, etc. If Gardy will be gone by 2014, I think it would be better to wait to call up Sano until the new manager arrives so Gardy doesn't insist on him slapping singles to right field..
I'm not a fan of Gardy, but this goes a little far. I don't like how he's handled young guys in the past, but he's handled Arcia pretty well IMO. He also gave Hicks way more leash than he deserved. I'd like to move on from Gardy too, but not because he's a terrible manager and messed up the team. Lets look at things objectively.

Brandon
08-14-2013, 08:31 AM
The 40 man roster issue of having Sano on it or not is not an issue till the rule 5 draft. We will want to have as much talent protected as possible plus we may want to have an open spot for a pick ourselves. We could find another Pressley/ Mack/ Santana (woulda rule 5 picked him) Buscher (minor league part of draft) .....

Then there is the cost of contract and playing time. Unless we have 5 solid starting pitchers next April so that we can compete for the division next year, We should leave Sano in the minors till June or so to delay FA a year. we should also see if he is interested in signing a long term (Longoria like) contract extension.

SurroundedByTigers
08-14-2013, 08:56 AM
I want Sano up in the big leagues in September so he can stand on the same field and watch Miguel Cabrera hit and play 3B. Sano will learn more from watching Cabrera than any other player in baseball. Unless Sano is lights out, he starts next season at AAA and comes up midseason.

orangevening
08-14-2013, 10:20 AM
I think we know what Plouffe has at this point. .230 hitter with potential to hit 20 HR has a poor glove and has shown little to no improvement over the last 3 years. I don't hate him but don't think he's vital to Twins' future either.

Remember too that Plouffe is the too laid back/ lack of focus California type. Seems like a few times this year (& last) they have mentioned Romero publicly just to get some fire under Plouffe's feet. Calling up Sano in Sept., even just to sit, would get Plouffe's attention.

diehardtwinsfan
08-14-2013, 10:41 AM
How many AA at bats does he have now? I just don't see him starting in MLB next year and I don't see him getting called up in Sept. I don't think it's overly conservative either if they let him finish out the year in AA (or perhaps promote him to Rochester for the playoff run) and then start next year in AAA. Let's not pretend he has nothing to learn in AAA. He might not have much to learn, but I'd much rather my prospects learn all they can in the minors before coming to the majors... That's just me.

Besides, like Plouffe or not, I think he should get next year to see what value he has. If you call up Sano, you start running into more PT issues. The Twins need to figure out if he's the future or trade bait. While he hasn't been lights out this season, he's shown enough with the bat to give him some more time. If he gets hurt next season or continues to hit in the low .200s with some power, I think you trade him.

Brock Beauchamp
08-14-2013, 10:52 AM
I think it's becoming more evident that Sano is the type of guy that you absolutely want to control for seven years. Hicks was borderline (and I was against his call-up at the time) but Sano is dominating the high minors at such a young age that it's hard to envision him with a floor lower than "pretty good third baseman" with a ceiling of "holy *&^%".

70charger
08-14-2013, 10:56 AM
I lean toward the conservative side of things too. I think the extra year of control has the potential to be huge, I think he'd have a good learning experience in AAA (and maybe even struggle a bit, which would be better there than in the majors), and there are 40-man implications for a Sano callup this year.

Speaking of which, if we're keeping Sano off the 40-man due to roster conservatism, I don't think Deibinson Romero is even in the conversation.

drjim
08-14-2013, 10:59 AM
I think it's becoming more evident that Sano is the type of guy that you absolutely want to control for seven years. Hicks was borderline (and I was against his call-up at the time) but Sano is dominating the high minors at such a young age that it's hard to envision him with a floor lower than "pretty good third baseman" with a ceiling of "holy *&^%".

I disagree. He is the type of player that should be locked up early and render service time moot.

IdahoPilgrim
08-14-2013, 11:10 AM
I have no interest in worrying about service time issues, for either team control or arbitration. For me, I choose the conservative route because I think a player needs to show he can compete/succeed at Triple-A before he gets a shot at the majors. The quality of play there is an improvement over Double-A, and if a player can not do well there he has no business being considered for a major league roster. It doesn't have to be a long look - 2-3 months is fine, and if he shows he can handle it, then give him the big test.

I know some see the Triple-A level as a parking spot for borderline major league players and see Double-A as the final "proving ground" for major league talent, but if Sano can not succeed facing pitchers who are borderline major league players, he certainly won't succeed against those who truly belong in the major leagues. Let's make sure he's ready before throwing him in the deep end.

Linus
08-14-2013, 11:25 AM
I am in the camp of it doesn't make sense to bring them up until they are ready to contribute at the major league level. I'm all for him playing in Rochester this fall for the playoffs and start at AAA next year. When he has proven himself there for a sufficient period of time (say half a season) then bring him up. The goal should be that once he comes up he is ready to stay and contribute, then we don't have to worry about service time. As far as a September call up, its not happening. TR has already stated that and I think it is the correct decision. He doesn't have to be added to the 40 man so it doesn't make any sense to take up a spot when you don't have to. Yes, I realize there are several people they can DFA, but there are probably an equal number of valuable prospects they have to add or risk losing. Plus, they need a spot or two open for trades / Phil Hughes ;)

DJL44
08-14-2013, 11:25 AM
I doubt the Twins will give Sano a September callup mostly due to roster considerations. Sano will play winter ball. I know they'll have him competing for the 3B job in spring training next season. Terry Ryan has a lot of work to do to acquire pitching this offseason. If Plouffe can help get a pitcher he will be gone, just like Ben Revere. If Plouffe is still here in April he will keep Sano in AAA for a little while until they can trade Trevor. Ryan has to manage his assets during this transition. Several veteran players (Plouffe, Doumit, Willingham, Burton, Duensing, Correia) will be shopped this offseason as Terry Ryan remakes his roster with younger players (Tonkin, Pinto, Hicks, Sano, etc).

I agree that they won't worry about service time with Sano. He's a good candidate for an Evan Longoria type contract. Having Target Field is supposed to mean they don't have to nickel and dime their own players.

ashburyjohn
08-14-2013, 11:29 AM
I disagree. He is the type of player that should be locked up early and render service time moot.

Service time is a pretty good bargaining chip when negotiating that buy-out contract.

drjim
08-14-2013, 11:50 AM
Service time is a pretty good bargaining chip when negotiating that buy-out contract.

Might cost a couple more million but in the context of a 6+ year contract it's not that significant.

drjim
08-14-2013, 11:54 AM
I am in the camp of it doesn't make sense to bring them up until they are ready to contribute at the major league level. I'm all for him playing in Rochester this fall for the playoffs and start at AAA next year. When he has proven himself there for a sufficient period of time (say half a season) then bring him up. The goal should be that once he comes up he is ready to stay and contribute, then we don't have to worry about service time. As far as a September call up, its not happening. TR has already stated that and I think it is the correct decision. He doesn't have to be added to the 40 man so it doesn't make any sense to take up a spot when you don't have to. Yes, I realize there are several people they can DFA, but there are probably an equal number of valuable prospects they have to add or risk losing. Plus, they need a spot or two open for trades / Phil Hughes ;)

When did TR say that? I have heard him say something quite different recently that it hasn't been determined.

Also, while roster space is a concern there is potentially huge marketing gains for the Twins if they call him up. A couple of bombs could move the needle on season tickets.

PseudoSABR
08-14-2013, 11:58 AM
From Warne's column (http://www.1500espn.com/sportswire/Notebook_Twins_might_have_found_some_value_in_Migu el_Sulbaran081313) today:

Miguel Sano homered again Tuesday for Double-A New Britain, his 30th of the season. Sano isn't on the 40-man roster, and doesn't have to be added until after next season as a matter of procedure, but Ryan wasn't outwardly dismissive of the potential for a late-season callup for the 20-year-old third baseman.

"It's always a possibility," Ryan said. "I will only bring up guys who deserve to come up." Ryan did make note of the fact that the Twins have brought players up from Double-A in the past, including Chuck Knoblauch, Joe Mauer (http://www.1500espn.com/pages/roster.php?pID=13), and most recently, Chris Parmelee (http://www.1500espn.com/pages/roster.php?pID=324) and Joe Benson (http://www.1500espn.com/pages/roster.php?pID=326).

Steve Lein
08-14-2013, 12:00 PM
I really hope the Twins take a more conservative route with Sano. ... I think it will be very much in the Twins interests to hold him back in AAA a month or so as that extra year of Sano could be worth 20-30 million dollars down the road, as well as giving them an extra year to try and iron out a contract extension. I am very fearful they bring him up to open 2014 as the starting 3B.

This is one thing about team-control years I extremely dislike. If it takes you 6 years to figure out if a player fits in the teams future plans, he probably doesn't.

To quasi-quote another poster: "He is the type of player that [hopefully will perform and] be locked up early and render service time moot."

Frankly, with how the Twins are constructed right now, money isn't even a conversation worth having in regard to Sano. You can't project anything 6 years from now in that regard, and the payroll is going to continue shrinking - they'll have the needed money to spend.

Linus
08-14-2013, 12:04 PM
When did TR say that? I have heard him say something quite different recently that it hasn't been determined.

Also, while roster space is a concern there is potentially huge marketing gains for the Twins if they call him up. A couple of bombs could move the needle on season tickets.

His Saturday morning radio show on 1500ESPN about 2-3 weeks ago. Mackey asked him point blank and he answered very directly that he would not be called up this September because he does not have to be added to the 40 man yet.

Jdosen
08-14-2013, 12:38 PM
This is one thing about team-control years I extremely dislike. If it takes you 6 years to figure out if a player fits in the teams future plans, he probably doesn't.

To quasi-quote another poster: "He is the type of player that [hopefully will perform and] be locked up early and render service time moot."

I agree that after 6 years of control, the Twins will know what they have in Sano, and yes hopefully the Twins buy up his team control years and a few free agency years as well, but the extra year of service time makes that contract they will sign Sano to one year longer, which is immensely valuable.

On the flip side, the Twins aren't the Rays, and I don't know if I trust the FO to sign him to a deal like this, so I hope they take the conservative route with him, just in case they need that extra year of him before he hits free agency.

2020 Miguel Sano at age 27 for a full season is going to be worth a lot more than 20 games of 2014 Miguel Sano in his age 21 season.

Brock Beauchamp
08-14-2013, 12:44 PM
I disagree. He is the type of player that should be locked up early and render service time moot.

The thing is that teams "lock up" arb-eligible players based on remaining service time. Add another year of service, punt on locking the player up for 12 more months.

How differently does Joe Mauer's contract play out if the Twins were able to lock him up after the 2010 season instead of before it? IMO, it's even more vital to think about service time when you're dealing with a rare talent, as you get one more year of them in their physical prime to make a decision about an extension and the difference could be tens of millions of dollars over the life of a contract.

CharacterGroove
08-14-2013, 12:56 PM
This is one thing about team-control years I extremely dislike. If it takes you 6 years to figure out if a player fits in the teams future plans, he probably doesn't.

To quasi-quote another poster: "He is the type of player that [hopefully will perform and] be locked up early and render service time moot."

Frankly, with how the Twins are constructed right now, money isn't even a conversation worth having in regard to Sano. You can't project anything 6 years from now in that regard, and the payroll is going to continue shrinking - they'll have the needed money to spend.

Thank you. I sometimes think fans look at these situations like it's a video game. There's no way to project out 6 years. I can't fathom holding back a superior player for 1/3 of 2014 (indeed a franchise desperately in need of wins) in order to cue up an optimal situation in 2020.

CharacterGroove
08-14-2013, 01:07 PM
The thing is that teams "lock up" arb-eligible players based on remaining service time. Add another year of service, punt on locking the player up for 12 more months.

How differently does Joe Mauer's contract play out if the Twins were able to lock him up after the 2010 season instead of before it? IMO, it's even more vital to think about service time when you're dealing with a rare talent, as you get one more year of them in their physical prime to make a decision about an extension and the difference could be tens of millions of dollars over the life of a contract.

It can play out in countless ways over those years. The first objective, however, is to win games. Good fortune follows wins.

(And I'm assuming Sano gives us the best chance to win next spring. If he comes out in Hicksian fashion, either this September or next spring, I'm 100% behind letting him find himself in AAA.)

eagle
08-14-2013, 01:11 PM
Sano is a generational type player, it doesn't matter how good the pitching is, he will adjust to it. If his defense is what they say it is, there is no reason why they should keep him stuck in the minors when in all likelyhood, Morneau and Willingham will be gone and only Mauer will draw fans. Can you imagine the buzz Sano will bring to Target Field? He will instantly fill seats and guess what guys, the Twins are going to have to back up the Brinks truck anyways, what the hell is the difference if it is a year earlier.

I hate when people compare Hicks to Sano because they are apples to oranges. Hicks never batted about .300 in any year in the minors. There was absolutely no reason for the Twins to start him in majors but I do believe with Mastrioni being hurt, it forced their hand. Sano is on an entirely different stratosphere compared to Hicks. He flat out hits and produces runs, something the Twins lack (sans this last week).

IMO, he deserves to play day 1 next year and should be called up after the AA season is over.

One thing to note. AAA pitchers are better than AA but AA pitchers have more upside and more than not, house teams most prized prospects.

CharacterGroove
08-14-2013, 01:15 PM
One thing everyone should agree on is that Aaron Hicks' MLB performance and/or career projection is irrelevant to Miguel Sano.

Brock Beauchamp
08-14-2013, 01:38 PM
It can play out in countless ways over those years. The first objective, however, is to win games. Good fortune follows wins.

(And I'm assuming Sano gives us the best chance to win next spring. If he comes out in Hicksian fashion, either this September or next spring, I'm 100% behind letting him find himself in AAA.)

Baseball is all about hedging your bets. And a betting man would take these odds:

162 games of age 27 Miguel Sano > 35 games of age 21 Miguel Sano

The Twins are unlikely to compete in 2014 and even if they do, a month+ of Miguel Sano probably isn't going to change that one way or the other.

Most people seem to agree that the Rays have one of the smartest front offices in baseball and they didn't hesitate to make Wil Myers sit in AAA for a couple of months to start 2013. It's the prudent move that gives you more flexibility going forward. It's not "video gamey", it's gaming the system to your advantage and keeping your options open during critical years of a player's career.

troyhobbs
08-14-2013, 01:45 PM
I have no interest in worrying about service time issues, for either team control or arbitration. For me, I'm for the conservative route because I think a player needs to show he can compete/succeed at Triple-A before he gets a shot at the majors. The quality of play there is an improvement over Double-A, and if a player can not do well there he has no business being considered for a major league roster. It doesn't have to be a long look - 2-3 months is fine, and if he shows he can handle it, then give him the big test.

I know some see the Triple-A level as a parking spot for borderline major league players and see Double-A as the final "proving ground" for major league talent, but if Sano can not succeed facing pitchers who are borderline major league players, he certainly won't succeed against those who truly belong in the major leagues. Let's make sure he's ready before throwing him in the deep end.

Even if Sano dominates AAA for a couple months he'll still have growing pains and needs for adjustments once in the bigs. Like hiring or promoting someone for a job you don't expect them to start killing it on their first day. Not everyone needs AAA experience although I'm all for him starting '14 in Rochester though mostly for team control reasons.

DAM DC Twins Fans
08-14-2013, 02:02 PM
I'd like to see him get the call in September just to see MLB pitchers. The game will be different and getting a taste will only make him better. He should still start the season in AAA until his arb clock is past in May. Then call him up and keep him up for good. Plouffe will need to start producing a little more to garner a starting spot. I doubt the Twins dump him anytime soon since he is cheap, provides position flexibility, and has some pop in his bat.

I agree--he deserves to get the Sept. cup of coffee. Clearing a roster spot from the 40 man wont be that much of a problem--maybe that's why Morneau is on waivers anyway. Give him a few games at 3B or 1B. Whether Sano starts next year at Rochester or Minnesota will depend on spring training. If he starts in Minnesota and is overwhelmed like Hicks was, OK give him a month in Rochester. I hope the Twins FO ignores the service clock issues and gives Sano a long-term contract in 2015 anyway.

CharacterGroove
08-14-2013, 02:24 PM
Baseball is all about hedging your bets. And a betting man would take these odds:

162 games of age 27 Miguel Sano > 35 games of age 21 Miguel Sano

The Twins are unlikely to compete in 2014 and even if they do, a month+ of Miguel Sano probably isn't going to change that one way or the other.

Most people seem to agree that the Rays have one of the smartest front offices in baseball and they didn't hesitate to make Wil Myers sit in AAA for a couple of months to start 2013. It's the prudent move that gives you more flexibility going forward. It's not "video gamey", it's gaming the system to your advantage and keeping your options open during critical years of a player's career.

Of course a 27-year-old Sano (~155 games) is a much better option than a 21-year-old Sano (~35 games) (Although keep in mind some have suggested bringing him up in June - hence my 1/3 of the year comment.) But that's a false choice. The "aggressive" route does not prevent the Twins from having Sano until he retires.

Your hedging your bets thinking the team will save X number of dollars in the future by playing the waiting game now. Okay. A legitimate alternative is that it won't make a bit of financial difference 6 years down the road whether Sano begins his MLB career this September. There are just so many variables in play between now and then that it's a fruitless exercise.

Another difference of opinion we may have is that I haven't conceded 2014. Related to that I firmly believe that a competitive team next year will reap rewards in 2015 and beyond. So I want the best possible team on the field, and then let the cards fall where they may.

Not that I disregard your point. The ideal situation of course includes having Sano under an extra year of control. It's just not something that would drive my decision.

LaBombo
08-14-2013, 03:18 PM
One thing everyone should agree on is that Aaron Hicks' MLB performance and/or career projection is irrelevant to Miguel Sano.
So you're saying we shouldn't have the slightest concern about an AA hitter with contact issues skipping AAA just because the last AA hitter with contact issues who skipped AAA was a disaster at the plate?

Nick Nelson
08-14-2013, 04:27 PM
I think the service clock/team control stuff should be a consideration, but not a determining factor. It sort of astounds me that so many fans get caught up in it, to the extent that they'll advocate leaving a player sitting in the minors even when they believe he could be making a legitimate impact for the big-league club. In the end it's all just about how much money is spent, and why are we worrying about that so much when the front office itself -- evidently -- is not?

Baseball's system is designed to allow teams to keep their homegrown stars, if they'll pony up. I'm confident the Twins will pay what it takes to keep Sano around for a long time if he's good enough.

drjim
08-14-2013, 04:39 PM
His Saturday morning radio show on 1500ESPN about 2-3 weeks ago. Mackey asked him point blank and he answered very directly that he would not be called up this September because he does not have to be added to the 40 man yet.

Hmmm. I hears the same interview and remember it pretty much like was quoted a couple posts back. They won't close the door and if he keeps hitting like he has he will force a callup.

drjim
08-14-2013, 04:43 PM
The thing is that teams "lock up" arb-eligible players based on remaining service time. Add another year of service, punt on locking the player up for 12 more months.

How differently does Joe Mauer's contract play out if the Twins were able to lock him up after the 2010 season instead of before it? IMO, it's even more vital to think about service time when you're dealing with a rare talent, as you get one more year of them in their physical prime to make a decision about an extension and the difference could be tens of millions of dollars over the life of a contract.

The big mistake with Mauer was only signing him for 4 years in his initial extension. Ryan has actually never signed a contract longer than that but this will have to change.

I'm just not that concerned about a couple extra million per year. As stated the system is set up gor Sano to be a Twin as long as they'll have him.

Plus I'm selfish, I want to see the guy play. I can guarantee I'll buy more tickets in September if he is on the roster.

CharacterGroove
08-14-2013, 04:43 PM
So you're saying we shouldn't have the slightest concern about an AA hitter with contact issues skipping AAA just because the last AA hitter with contact issues who skipped AAA was a disaster at the plate?

If your hypothetical actually suggests a comparison between the minor league careers of Aaron Hicks and Miguel Sano, and in turn whether Hicks serves as a useful guide, then absolutely not.

drjim
08-14-2013, 04:45 PM
I think the service clock/team control stuff should be a consideration, but not a determining factor. It sort of astounds me that so many fans get caught up in it, to the extent that they'll advocate leaving a player sitting in the minors even when they believe he could be making a legitimate impact for the big-league club. In the end it's all just about how much money is spent, and why are we worrying about that so much when the front office itself -- evidently -- is not?

Baseball's system is designed to allow teams to keep their homegrown stars, if they'll pony up. I'm confident the Twins will pay what it takes to keep Sano around for a long time if he's good enough.

I think for most teams this should be less and less of an issue. There is more than enough money in the game to lock up studs. What hurts payrolls is overpaying for mediocre free agents.

diehardtwinsfan
08-14-2013, 05:55 PM
I think the service clock/team control stuff should be a consideration, but not a determining factor. It sort of astounds me that so many fans get caught up in it, to the extent that they'll advocate leaving a player sitting in the minors even when they believe he could be making a legitimate impact for the big-league club. In the end it's all just about how much money is spent, and why are we worrying about that so much when the front office itself -- evidently -- is not?

Baseball's system is designed to allow teams to keep their homegrown stars, if they'll pony up. I'm confident the Twins will pay what it takes to keep Sano around for a long time if he's good enough.

I dont' think service time is nearly the issue here people are making it. Here's the issue. Does Sano have anything else to learn in the minors? If yes, he should stay.

I personally am not a fan of skipping AAA for anyone, if for no other reason than that they player will have less to learn once they get up. The jump to MLB is hard enough, and where service time comes into play in my book is wasting it on a player who could have still learned some lessons in the minors.

mike wants wins
08-14-2013, 06:50 PM
Well,if you want to sell tickets next year, you might want to call him up. I do not care about the many. They are rolling in money.

Jim H
08-14-2013, 08:42 PM
Good article, Nick. You laid it out very well.

I understand not wanting to compare Sano and Hicks, but I would have thought Hicks should of been more ready for the majors than Sano is likely to be. I am not all that passinate about it, I suspect Sano will be to the majors soon enough, and there are some benefits to keeping him in the minors a little longer, beyond the obvious that he probably isn't really quite ready.

Sano is going to be the 3B when he gets to the majors, at least until he proves he can't play there, which probably won't happpen. I would think one important thing that could be found out if Sano stays in the minors, is finding out more about Flouffe. If he could prove he is a serviceable 3B(Say, Casey Blake like-his upside I think) he becomes a pretty valuable trading chip, I would think.

We all think that Sano, Rosario, Buxton and perhaps a couple others, are going to be pretty darn good. If that turns out to be true, it would be nice to have some solid pieces around them. Plouffe could be one of them or perhaps a means to get one.

I really am not too in to the possible service time issues. They could be very important I imagine, but it is so difficult to guess what is going to happen next year, much 5 years down the road. What I do believe is that there is no big gain to be had by rushing prospects to the majors too quickly. I remember the early 80's and late 90's, as good as some of those players got to be, it really wasn't that much fun watching them learn things they should have known before they got to the majors.

Willihammer
08-14-2013, 08:50 PM
How differently does Joe Mauer's contract play out if the Twins were able to lock him up after the 2010 season instead of before it?

That's a curious example. Instead of looking at a healthy 26 year old coming off an MVP, 1.030 OPS, 28 HR MVP season, they would be looking at a 27 year old who needed a 2nd knee surgery and had just seen his production drop back to the mid .800 range.

So... 6 / 90, something like that?

Willihammer
08-14-2013, 09:02 PM
All that is to say, when you're talking elite talents, an extra year does buy you more time to wait for an "off" year, if that's your strategy. But waiting could just as easily drive up a player's value further. Those years where a player is 25-27 are the prime after all.

Whether you have the extra year or not, the real money is saved when you make those decisions well before a player reaches their prime, eg. Longoria, I think. Its less a question of service time and more a question of age IMO.

Badsmerf
08-14-2013, 09:07 PM
Comparing Sano to Hicks isn't even a conversation. They are completely different players with completely different tools/deficiencies. The only thing they'd have in common is skipping AAA and getting their first taste of the bigs. Obviously Sano might struggle a little at first, but like Arcia, you'd see real flashes of the potential. I'm not as confident about Hicks. Hopeful, but not confident.

Oxtung
08-14-2013, 09:26 PM
I think the service clock/team control stuff should be a consideration, but not a determining factor. It sort of astounds me that so many fans get caught up in it, to the extent that they'll advocate leaving a player sitting in the minors even when they believe he could be making a legitimate impact for the big-league club. In the end it's all just about how much money is spent, and why are we worrying about that so much when the front office itself -- evidently -- is not?

Baseball's system is designed to allow teams to keep their homegrown stars, if they'll pony up. I'm confident the Twins will pay what it takes to keep Sano around for a long time if he's good enough.

The point isn't can they keep Sano assuming he's good enough. The question is can they keep all of Sano, Buxton, Meyer, Stewart, Rosario, etc... Those contracts add up. The next question is can you sign any meaningful free agents in addition to paying your core? For those that want to wait for a few years before signing FA's those few millions of dollars could become extremely important. If the Twins spend "only a few millions extra per year", on let's say 4 contracts, that's potentially 8-10 million per year that can't be used on FA's. That is significant money. That's the difference between Anibal Sanchez and Joe Blanton.

Mr. Brooks
08-14-2013, 10:48 PM
Good article, Nick. You laid it out very well.

I understand not wanting to compare Sano and Hicks, but I would have thought Hicks should of been more ready for the majors than Sano is likely to be. I am not all that passinate about it, I suspect Sano will be to the majors soon enough, and there are some benefits to keeping him in the minors a little longer, beyond the obvious that he probably isn't really quite ready.

Sano is going to be the 3B when he gets to the majors, at least until he proves he can't play there, which probably won't happpen. I would think one important thing that could be found out if Sano stays in the minors, is finding out more about Flouffe. If he could prove he is a serviceable 3B(Say, Casey Blake like-his upside I think) he becomes a pretty valuable trading chip, I would think.

We all think that Sano, Rosario, Buxton and perhaps a couple others, are going to be pretty darn good. If that turns out to be true, it would be nice to have some solid pieces around them. Plouffe could be one of them or perhaps a means to get one.

I really am not too in to the possible service time issues. They could be very important I imagine, but it is so difficult to guess what is going to happen next year, much 5 years down the road. What I do believe is that there is no big gain to be had by rushing prospects to the majors too quickly. I remember the early 80's and late 90's, as good as some of those players got to be, it really wasn't that much fun watching them learn things they should have known before they got to the majors.

Some guys are generational players who ARE good enough to be in the majors when they are 20 or 21 years old.
Trout, Harper and Manny Machado seem to be doing just fine.

Thegrin
08-19-2013, 12:57 PM
On Saturday 8-17, on am 1500, Terry Ryan, when asked, said it would be unlikely that Sano would be called up in September.

mike wants wins
08-19-2013, 01:53 PM
On Saturday 8-17, on am 1500, Terry Ryan, when asked, said it would be unlikely that Sano would be called up in September.


No surprise there....so not much, again, to look forward to in September. Two years in a row now.

drjim
08-19-2013, 02:21 PM
On Saturday 8-17, on am 1500, Terry Ryan, when asked, said it would be unlikely that Sano would be called up in September.

40 man roster excuse.

mike wants wins
08-19-2013, 02:35 PM
40 man roster excuse.

was it really? I need to know before I type what I'm thinking............

jokin
08-19-2013, 02:43 PM
was it really? I need to know before I type what I'm thinking............

Yeah. I read the same. As I stated earlier in the thread, that's an incredibly lame excuse if there is actually any organizational concern about possibly risking the loss of a Hermsen, et al.

drjim
08-19-2013, 02:58 PM
was it really? I need to know before I type what I'm thinking............

It's not the only reason, Ryan hinted that he doesn't think Sano is quite ready - offensively or defensively. That is surely debatable.

drjim
08-19-2013, 07:27 PM
Two other things on the September callup:

1. If the Twins call up Sano and he suffers a serious injury over the offseason that keeps him out of the lineup next year, the Twins lose that service time as he would be on the dl to start the season. This is a slight chance (but think Kubel).

That is a risk worth taking, except that
2. It is questionable what 3-4 weeks of time in September really does for his development. I personally want to see him play, but developmentally it might be just as beneficial to go to Rochester for the playoffs or to go home and play winter ball. Plus it would give one final look at Plouffe (though that ship may have sailed already).

TRex
08-19-2013, 09:00 PM
A September call-up might be a nice carrot to get him to forgo playing in the winter leagues, though.

Highabove
08-21-2013, 05:26 PM
The point isn't can they keep Sano assuming he's good enough. The question is can they keep all of Sano, Buxton, Meyer, Stewart, Rosario, etc... Those contracts add up. The next question is can you sign any meaningful free agents in addition to paying your core? For those that want to wait for a few years before signing FA's those few millions of dollars could become extremely important. If the Twins spend "only a few millions extra per year", on let's say 4 contracts, that's potentially 8-10 million per year that can't be used on FA's. That is significant money. That's the difference between Anibal Sanchez and Joe Blanton.

The Twins will be 50 million dollars below the 2011 payroll. Should Money really be an issue? Unfortunately, Ryan and the Pohlad's will probably make it an issue.

Ncgo4
08-21-2013, 06:41 PM
He's probably not ready offensively, IMHO. He is still struggling at the plate at this level. Even though he is hitting for amazing power he has become a very one dimensional hitter. They do not need to bring bim and create a great deal of doubt in his mind.

Mr. Brooks
08-21-2013, 06:44 PM
He's probably not ready offensively, IMHO. He is still struggling at the plate at this level. Even though he is hitting for amazing power he has become a very one dimensional hitter. They do not need to bring bim and create a great deal of doubt in his mind.

Was he lucky at every other level he's played, or unlucky so far at AA?
Because the only difference causing his AVG to sink is a massive drop in babip.

He's not struggling at the plate at all, he's dominating AA just like he's dominated every other level. He's 3rd in the Eastern League in OPS right now. His K and BB rates are right in line with his other levels.

Willihammer
08-21-2013, 07:53 PM
My hunch is Sano is fully aware of just how talented he is. I doubt a few strikeouts in the MLB will create much doubt in his mind about that.

When I stand back and look at Sano, I see a guy who is the closest to a sure thing we've had in a long time. Maybe ever.

The Twins will need his bat next year. Call him up, give him the winter to sleep on his experience, and plan on starting him at 3rd next spring. And if he takes Felix Hernandez yard then lock him up till he's about 32.

drjim
08-21-2013, 08:06 PM
My hunch is Sano is fully aware of just how talented he is. I doubt a few strikeouts in the MLB will create much doubt in his mind about that.

When I stand back and look at Sano, I see a guy who is the closest to a sure thing we've had in a long time. Maybe ever.

The Twins will need his bat next year. Call him up, give him the winter to sleep on his experience, and plan on starting him at 3rd next spring. And if he takes Felix Hernandez yard then lock him up till he's about 32.

I agree with this. Except Buxton might be more of a sure thing.

Mr. Brooks
08-21-2013, 08:39 PM
Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado.
All came up at 19 or 20.
Sano has outperformed all of their minor league performances except Trout, who had pretty similar minor league production.
Were those guys rushed?
Minor league PA's:
Machado: 928
Trout: 1312
Harper: 550
Cabrera: 1597
Sano: 1556

Minor league OPS:
Machado: .776
Trout: .941
Harper: .874
Cabrera: .782
Sano: .938

Minor league games at AA or higher:
Machado: 109
Trout: 91
Harper: 58
Cabrera: 69
Sano: 56

Does Sano still have things to work on? Sure, I bet he does.
But I bet those guys did too. That doesn't mean he can't have success. That doesn't mean he can't work on those things here, even while being productive out of the gate.

Oxtung
08-21-2013, 11:24 PM
Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado.
All came up at 19 or 20.
Sano has outperformed all of their minor league performances except Trout, who had pretty similar minor league production.
Were those guys rushed?
Minor league PA's:
Machado: 928
Trout: 1312
Harper: 550
Cabrera: 1597
Sano: 1556

Minor league OPS:
Machado: .776
Trout: .941
Harper: .874
Cabrera: .782
Sano: .938

Minor league games at AA or higher:
Machado: 109
Trout: 91
Harper: 58
Cabrera: 69
Sano: 56

Does Sano still have things to work on? Sure, I bet he does.
But I bet those guys did too. That doesn't mean he can't have success. That doesn't mean he can't work on those things here, even while being productive out of the gate.

There is a long list of highly touted prospects that were rushed to the majors and struggled mightily as well. We should be familiar with 2 of them. Just because they're highly touted doesn't guarantee that they are ready for the jump. Looking at stats on a page can only tell you so much when you're talking about a 20 year old.

Oxtung
08-21-2013, 11:31 PM
The Twins will be 50 million dollars below the 2011 payroll. Should Money really be an issue?

Well that is the question. The Royals, where most of us hope the Twins are in a couple years, are paying $11 million in arbitration this year. According to B-Ref that will jump to $32 million in 2014 and $70 million in 2016. There is >0% chance payroll will be an issue when our players reach arbitration even if the Pohlad's open their wallets.

Mr. Brooks
08-22-2013, 09:21 AM
There is a long list of highly touted prospects that were rushed to the majors and struggled mightily as well. We should be familiar with 2 of them. Just because they're highly touted doesn't guarantee that they are ready for the jump. Looking at stats on a page can only tell you so much when you're talking about a 20 year old.

There is a big difference between top 5 prospects in all of baseball, and fringe top 50-100 prospects like Hicks and Gibson.
Besides, I'm not saying its a 100% sure thing, I'm just saying that top prospects his age, and with his minor league track record CAN come up and be ready to mash, some people on this board are completely dismissing the idea, acting like its impossible for a 20 year old to be ready.

Oxtung
08-22-2013, 11:07 AM
There is a big difference between top 5 prospects in all of baseball, and fringe top 50-100 prospects like Hicks and Gibson.
Besides, I'm not saying its a 100% sure thing, I'm just saying that top prospects his age, and with his minor league track record CAN come up and be ready to mash, some people on this board are completely dismissing the idea, acting like its impossible for a 20 year old to be ready.

You are absolutely right that they can. It's also true that top prospects, like Delmon Young, Carlos Gomez, Jesus Montero or Mike Moustakas, can struggle. It doesn't matter how highly they are ranked, it is a big jump to the majors.

Moving prospects up the ladder is less about their statistics and more about the intangibles. How does his swing look? How is his footwork defensively. Will he be able to handle failure and learn from it? Will he be able to handle success? There are many questions that need to be answered and most of them aren't found in a box score. The only ones who can offer an educated guess are those with personal knowledge of Senor Sano. The Twins aren't always correct, Mr. Hicks says hi, but they are still in the best position to make the decision.

CharacterGroove
08-22-2013, 11:53 AM
You are absolutely right that they can. It's also true that top prospects, like Delmon Young, Carlos Gomez, Jesus Montero or Mike Moustakas, can struggle. It doesn't matter how highly they are ranked, it is a big jump to the majors.

Moving prospects up the ladder is less about their statistics and more about the intangibles. How does his swing look? How is his footwork defensively. Will he be able to handle failure and learn from it? Will he be able to handle success? There are many questions that need to be answered and most of them aren't found in a box score. The only ones who can offer an educated guess are those with personal knowledge of Senor Sano. The Twins aren't always correct, Mr. Hicks says hi, but they are still in the best position to make the decision.

The issue is not whether Sano will "struggle" as a MLB player. It's also not about rankings. The issue is whether a promotion will hurt or improve his development - what helps him reach his potential at the MLB level.

Brooks was showing the class he's in as far as potential. Seeing Sano's numbers should cause you to immediately disregard any comparison to Hicks, Gibson, or any of the good (but not elite) prospects that have come through the Twins organization the past dozen or so years.

Because Sano is in a different class, let's compare him to that class. Was Delmon Young's potential hindered by being called up at 20? Maybe, but it wouldn't be hard to argue that his limitations were only hidden at the MiLB levels. What about the Uptons who were both called up at 19? Better or worse if the had another 1-2 years in the minors? Moustakas isn't even in the conversation because he got called up at 22. (Did waiting hurt his development? - let's turn it around.) With the big 3 (Trout, Harper, Machado), it's really hard to argue that they needed more time, but then again we don't know yet if they'll reach their potential - Trout excluded I guess after last year's gem. Maybe bringing them up at 19/20 was a mistake?

You're comfortable just trusting some subjective "he's not ready." Okay. But I submit that we'll never know the answer to two important questions you posed unless he's given the opportunity. In turn I prefer being "aggressive" because I just don't see the downside. I have no worries whatsoever that Sano's confidence might break, or that somehow he'll develop bad habits that can't be remedied. Again, Sano's an elite prospect with success at every level he's played - not Hicks!

Oxtung
08-22-2013, 12:52 PM
The issue is not whether Sano will "struggle" as a MLB player. It's also not about rankings. The issue is whether a promotion will hurt or improve his development - what helps him reach his potential at the MLB level.

Brooks was showing the class he's in as far as potential. Seeing Sano's numbers should cause you to immediately disregard any comparison to Hicks, Gibson, or any of the good (but not elite) prospects that have come through the Twins organization the past dozen or so years.

Because Sano is in a different class, let's compare him to that class. Was Delmon Young's potential hindered by being called up at 20? Maybe, but it wouldn't be hard to argue that his limitations were only hidden at the MiLB levels. What about the Uptons who were both called up at 19? Better or worse if the had another 1-2 years in the minors? Moustakas isn't even in the conversation because he got called up at 22. (Did waiting hurt his development? - let's turn it around.) With the big 3 (Trout, Harper, Machado), it's really hard to argue that they needed more time, but then again we don't know yet if they'll reach their potential - Trout excluded I guess after last year's gem. Maybe bringing them up at 19/20 was a mistake?

You're comfortable just trusting some subjective "he's not ready." Okay. But I submit that we'll never know the answer to two important questions you posed unless he's given the opportunity. In turn I prefer being "aggressive" because I just don't see the downside. I have no worries whatsoever that Sano's confidence might break, or that somehow he'll develop bad habits that can't be remedied. Again, Sano's an elite prospect with success at every level he's played - not Hicks!

Actually what was being discussed is if Sano is ready for the majors. My point has been, he might be or he might not be, but I certainly don't know that from 1000 miles away looking at box scores and reading a few quotes. The only ones with that kind of knowledge are the Minnesota Twins. They haven't been perfect with predictions, this is where Hick's comes in, but they are still the only ones with the requisite information to make the determination.

Elite prospects can succeed, you pointed out several, but being elite is no guarantee. I submit, according to Baseball America, #1 prospect Delmon Young, #3 Jesus Montero and #9 Mike Moustakas. Claiming that Sano is "an elite prospect with success at every level" means nothing when it comes to the majors. The pitchers there don't care. Let's look at Delmon Young's minor league statistics. (http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=young-003del)

A- .926 OPS as an 18 year old.
AA - .968 OPS as a 19 year old.
AAA- .814 OPS as a 20 year old in half season before being called up.

Delmon hit better at every step so far and was a year younger.

Sano could be Machado or Moustakas. We don't know. The difference between the two lies in the intangibles, those things that I have no access to. It isn't about trusting the Twins, it's that there is no way I could know if Sano is ready. Literally no way.

Willihammer
08-22-2013, 03:13 PM
My point has been, he might be or he might not be, but I certainly don't know that from 1000 miles away looking at box scores and reading a few quotes.

There are plenty of organizational quotes praising Sano for making strides with the intangibles, esp. defensively. Will he ever be Adrian Beltre? I doubt it. And I don't think you keep him stashed away in AA or AAA for an extended period of time chasing that white rabbit when his bat is clearly ready for a promotion.

Will he struggle with the first Justin Verlander curveball he sees? Almost certainly. Will he struggle with the 2nd one? Only one way to find out.

Yes, prospects bust more than not. Even elite ones. But I'd argue they bust because they don't have the talent to stick in the MLB, not because their parent club destroyed their ability to play baseball by promoting them up at a young age.

edit: Forgot chasing the white rabbit means something totally different. How does the phrase go? chasing Sasquatch maybe. I'll go with that.

CharacterGroove
08-22-2013, 04:13 PM
Actually what was being discussed is if Sano is ready for the majors. My point has been, he might be or he might not be, but I certainly don't know that from 1000 miles away looking at box scores and reading a few quotes. The only ones with that kind of knowledge are the Minnesota Twins. They haven't been perfect with predictions, this is where Hick's comes in, but they are still the only ones with the requisite information to make the determination.

Elite prospects can succeed, you pointed out several, but being elite is no guarantee. I submit, according to Baseball America, #1 prospect Delmon Young, #3 Jesus Montero and #9 Mike Moustakas. Claiming that Sano is "an elite prospect with success at every level" means nothing when it comes to the majors. The pitchers there don't care. Let's look at Delmon Young's minor league statistics. (http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=young-003del)

A- .926 OPS as an 18 year old.
AA - .968 OPS as a 19 year old.
AAA- .814 OPS as a 20 year old in half season before being called up.

Delmon hit better at every step so far and was a year younger.

Sano could be Machado or Moustakas. We don't know. The difference between the two lies in the intangibles, those things that I have no access to. It isn't about trusting the Twins, it's that there is no way I could know if Sano is ready. Literally no way.

Well as I've said in the past, I think "is he ready for the majors" is the wrong question. For players on Sano's level it's impossible to know pre-promotion, and more importantly, it's an empty question. Ready for what? The only two questions are (1) will a promotion help or hurt Sano's development, and (2) will he help the Twins win? (One could argue fan interest is also important, but I disregard that.) As I've said many times, I believe he'll benefit from a taste of the MLB experience this offseason, and I also believe he's the best 3rd baseman in the organization. But my opinion isn't worth squat.

So considering the article that sparked this thread, the topic is September or sometime later. If you want to frame that as "is he ready," then I guess we're on the same page.

We're also on the same page with stats. Of course they don't tell the whole story, and subjective scouting plays a role. But let's not pretend that stats are just some small part. Saying that Sano's success "means nothing" and there's "literally no way" you can speak to his chances in the MLB is absurd.

Lastly, you're still comparing prospects. The issue is not whether Sano will ever live up to his potential/ranking, it's whether he should come up in September or sometime later. Delmon is an apt comparison in some ways since he came up at age 20. But I again pose the question whether you think that affected his development. (And compare with those like Moustakas who didn't get the nod until age 22.) Another comparison to Hicks is nauseating. If the Twins judgment is the comparison, then that points to calling up Sano immediately because they apparently blew the call on Hicks. Maybe it's time they pulled a Costanza.

Oxtung
08-22-2013, 04:22 PM
There are plenty of organizational quotes praising Sano for making strides with the intangibles, esp. defensively. Will he ever be Adrian Beltre? I doubt it. And I don't think you keep him stashed away in AA or AAA for an extended period of time chasing that white rabbit when his bat is clearly ready for a promotion.

Will he struggle with the first Justin Verlander curveball he sees? Almost certainly. Will he struggle with the 2nd one? Only one way to find out.

Yes, prospects bust more than not. Even elite ones. But I'd argue they bust because they don't have the talent to stick in the MLB, not because their parent club destroyed their ability to play baseball by promoting them up at a young age.

edit: Forgot chasing the white rabbit means something totally different. How does the phrase go? chasing Sasquatch maybe. I'll go with that.

Again, I'm not arguing he isn't ready. My point is not I, and I would guess you, have any direct knowledge of if he is ready or not.

People pushing for his advancement in this thread seem to be wanting him pushed because they look at his stats, his placement as a prospect or a couple of quotes and assume they know everything there is to know. In a perfect world those would be enough to judge a prospect. We could just slot him in at 3B and call it good for the next decade. But reality is not that neat. Just because a prospect puts up impressive numbers doesn't mean he is ready.

Vernon Wells (http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=wells-001ver) seems to be a pretty good comp here. He started his age 20 season at A+ FSL where he OPSed .946. He was promoted to AA where he OPSed .919 which earned him a promotion to the International League and AAA. After posting a .837 OPS there he got a September callup to Toronto where he put up an .646 OPS in 24 games. Beginning his age 21 season he was ranked by BA as the #4 prospect.

He hardly played in the majors over the next two seasons and wouldn't be an everyday player until 23. Even then he OPSed .762 which, while decent, is not destroying the league. It wasn't until he was 24, 4 years after his first taste of the majors, that Wells put up a great season OPSing .909.

Here was a player the same age, played in the same leagues and put up almost the same numbers. He was called up and it was determined he wasn't ready. And he wouldn't be for another 4 years. Even though his stats and prospect rankings said he was ready he still had things to work on and improve on before he could conquer the majors.

The only people who know if Sano has holes in his game are the Minnesota Twins. Maybe he is ready, in which case great that will be exciting, but maybe, despite his lofty status and great stats, he still has holes in his game like Wells that need to be ironed out so that when his time comes he can dominate. Ultimately that is what we all want, Miguel Cabrera part two.

mike wants wins
08-22-2013, 04:27 PM
The Twins don't know for sure either.....no one knows the future with certainty.

What is the argument you two are making, that we shouldn't argue if he's ready or not because we don't know? Or something else?

Mr. Brooks
08-22-2013, 04:32 PM
Actually what was being discussed is if Sano is ready for the majors. My point has been, he might be or he might not be, but I certainly don't know that from 1000 miles away looking at box scores and reading a few quotes. The only ones with that kind of knowledge are the Minnesota Twins. They haven't been perfect with predictions, this is where Hick's comes in, but they are still the only ones with the requisite information to make the determination.

Elite prospects can succeed, you pointed out several, but being elite is no guarantee. I submit, according to Baseball America, #1 prospect Delmon Young, #3 Jesus Montero and #9 Mike Moustakas. Claiming that Sano is "an elite prospect with success at every level" means nothing when it comes to the majors. The pitchers there don't care. Let's look at Delmon Young's minor league statistics. (http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=young-003del)

A- .926 OPS as an 18 year old.
AA - .968 OPS as a 19 year old.
AAA- .814 OPS as a 20 year old in half season before being called up.

Delmon hit better at every step so far and was a year younger.

Sano could be Machado or Moustakas. We don't know. The difference between the two lies in the intangibles, those things that I have no access to. It isn't about trusting the Twins, it's that there is no way I could know if Sano is ready. Literally no way.

You are right, we don't know if he's ready.
My whole argument is not that I know he is, it's that he could be. It's, let's not dismiss it just because of his age.
My post was in response to the statement I'm getting tired of reading here:
"He's not ready, he's only 20 years old, he'd bat .200 in the MLB."
I'm guessing when the time comes, not even the Twins will know for sure if he's "ready". There is probably a lot of guesswork that goes into finally making that call.
Do you think the O's knew with 100% certainty that Machado was ready when they made the call? Maybe they did, but I doubt it.
Eventually, in every big time prospects career, there will be a line. On one side of that line they are a minor league player, then they get the call to cross that line and become a major league player. Do you think that even the organization knows EXACTLY, to the date, where that line is? I doubt it.
You don't wait until your kid is 18 years old before you decide they are old enough to be home alone. When are they ready? Much like prospects, every kid is different. You do your best to teach them, observe them, and one day you make an educated GUESS that, today is the day they are old enough to be home alone. Are you 100% certain that they are ready? Probably not, but at some point that day is going to come, and you can't just wait until you are 100%, absolutely without any doubt ready, because if you do they'll be 17 years old and still have to be babysat.
I'm not claiming I know if he's ready. From a far he looks ready, at least offensively, but yes, you are right, I don't know.
But, I'm tired of seeing other people state with certainty that they know he's NOT ready.
Sano is a special talent. It is so Minnesotan to keep hopes tempered. "He can't possibly be a Trout, Harper, Cabrera like prodigy, we are not that lucky."
Guess what, maybe we are.

In closing, I'll ask you a question.
Do you think, in the history of baseball, any team has ever pulled the trigger too late? Has any team ever waited to call up a prospect, when in hindsight they might have been ready sooner?
Obviously, without a time machine (so you can go back in time and try multiple call up dates), we can never prove one way or another exactly when a player is ready. But I'm guessing since GM's are human, and because of the laws of probability, that the answer is yes.
If the answer is yes, than it is at least possible that Sano is ready now, even if the Twins aren't sure.
That's all I'm saying. They know better than I do, but that doesn't mean they are perfect.

Oxtung
08-22-2013, 04:39 PM
Well as I've said in the past, I think "is he ready for the majors" is the wrong question. For players on Sano's level it's impossible to know pre-promotion, and more importantly, it's an empty question. Ready for what? The only two questions are (1) will a promotion help or hurt Sano's development, and (2) will he help the Twins win? (One could argue fan interest is also important, but I disregard that.) As I've said many times, I believe he'll benefit from a taste of the MLB experience this offseason, and I also believe he's the best 3rd baseman in the organization. But my opinion isn't worth squat.

So considering the article that sparked this thread, the topic is September or sometime later. If you want to frame that as "is he ready," then I guess we're on the same page.

We're also on the same page with stats. Of course they don't tell the whole story, and subjective scouting plays a role. But let's not pretend that stats are just some small part. Saying that Sano's success "means nothing" and there's "literally no way" you can speak to his chances in the MLB is absurd.

Lastly, you're still comparing prospects. The issue is not whether Sano will ever live up to his potential/ranking, it's whether he should come up in September or sometime later. Delmon is an apt comparison in some ways since he came up at age 20. But I again pose the question whether you think that affected his development. (And compare with those like Moustakas who didn't get the nod until age 22.) Another comparison to Hicks is nauseating. If the Twins judgment is the comparison, then that points to calling up Sano immediately because they apparently blew the call on Hicks. Maybe it's time they pulled a Costanza.

Let me try a different tack. Why do you believe that Sano is ready to be called up to the majors?

LaBombo
08-22-2013, 04:50 PM
Because Sano is in a different class, let's compare him to that class. Was Delmon Young's potential hindered by being called up at 20? Maybe, but it wouldn't be hard to argue that his limitations were only hidden at the MiLB levels. What about the Uptons who were both called up at 19? Better or worse if the had another 1-2 years in the minors? Moustakas isn't even in the conversation because he got called up at 22. (Did waiting hurt his development? - let's turn it around.) With the big 3 (Trout, Harper, Machado), it's really hard to argue that they needed more time, but then again we don't know yet if they'll reach their potential - Trout excluded I guess after last year's gem. Maybe bringing them up at 19/20 was a mistake?

Sano is striking out in 28 percent of his AA plate appearances. Not a single one of the players on your list was anywhere near that rate in AA. In fact, nearly all of them had K rates about 10 percentage points lower than Sano.

And as much as you don't want to compare Sano to Hicks, the latter struck out at a significantly lower rate than Sano in AA, just over 20%, and still struggled to make contact in the majors.

Also, it's odd that you should bring up Trout's name at all. He started 2012 in triple A, just like many people are hoping Sano will. If the Angels can do that with a guy who owned double A even more than Sano has, is there really anything keeping the Twins from doing it?

Oxtung
08-22-2013, 04:51 PM
You are right, we don't know if he's ready.
My whole argument is not that I know he is, it's that he could be. It's, let's not dismiss it just because of his age.
My post was in response to the statement I'm getting tired of reading here:
"He's not ready, he's only 20 years old, he'd bat .200 in the MLB."
I'm guessing when the time comes, not even the Twins will know for sure if he's "ready". There is probably a lot of guesswork that goes into finally making that call.
Do you think the O's knew with 100% certainty that Machado was ready when they made the call? Maybe they did, but I doubt it.
Eventually, in every big time prospects career, there will be a line. On one side of that line they are a minor league player, then they get the call to cross that line and become a major league player. Do you think that even the organization knows EXACTLY, to the date, where that line is? I doubt it.
You don't wait until your kid is 18 years old before you decide they are old enough to be home alone. When are they ready? Much like prospects, every kid is different. You do your best to teach them, observe them, and one day you make an educated GUESS that, today is the day they are old enough to be home alone. Are you 100% certain that they are ready? Probably not, but at some point that day is going to come, and you can't just wait until you are 100%, absolutely without any doubt ready, because if you do they'll be 17 years old and still have to be babysat.
I'm not claiming I know if he's ready. From a far he looks ready, at least offensively, but yes, you are right, I don't know.
But, I'm tired of seeing other people state with certainty that they know he's NOT ready.
Sano is a special talent. It is so Minnesotan to keep hopes tempered. "He can't possibly be a Trout, Harper, Cabrera like prodigy, we are not that lucky."
Guess what, maybe we are.

In closing, I'll ask you a question.
Do you think, in the history of baseball, any team has ever pulled the trigger too late? Has any team ever waited to call up a prospect, when in hindsight they might have been ready sooner?
Obviously, without a time machine (so you can go back in time and try multiple call up dates), we can never prove one way or another exactly when a player is ready. But I'm guessing since GM's are human, and because of the laws of probability, that the answer is yes.
If the answer is yes, than it is at least possible that Sano is ready now, even if the Twins aren't sure.
That's all I'm saying. They know better than I do, but that doesn't mean they are perfect.

I agree with everything you've said here. I think you and I were just talking past one another when in reality we were trying to say the same things.


I would guess that there are prospects that have waited too long and failed because of it. Laws of probability and all. For the same reason I also think there are prospects that have failed because they've been pushed too fast. I don't have a clue who those are because, as you said, we don't have time machines.

If the Twins choose to hand Sano the reigns to 3B to start 2014, great! If they decide he needs some time at AAA, ok no problem. Let me know when he's ready.

CharacterGroove
08-22-2013, 04:59 PM
Let me try a different tack. Why do you believe that Sano is ready to be called up to the majors?

I answered that actually. Again, I reject the empty question of whether he's "ready." My position is that a taste of The Show will help Sano's development this offseason, and that Sano's also the best 3rd baseman in the organization - giving the team the best chance to win this September.

All if that is debatable, of course, but "you don't know everything" isn't a very strong rebuttal.

Ncgo4
08-22-2013, 05:03 PM
I'm not at all convinced about Sano. I hope with all my heart that my doubts are unfounded, but something just doesn't translate for me. He's hit a ton of HR's and RBI's that much is true. But he's hitting .238 and striking out about 1/3 of the time. This is at AA after killing pitching at A. I assume that major league pitching must be an equally large leap from AA as that level was from A.

If so, what can we reasonably expect? Do K's rise from 30% to 45%? Do HR's fall from 1 every 13 AB to one every 17 AB? How do the twins look at this fall off and justify a call up ths year? I don't know the answer, but I see bigger challenges than most people seem to see.

i sure hope I'm wrong because I am looking forward to seeing him in a Twins uni.

Mr. Brooks
08-22-2013, 05:04 PM
Sano is striking out in 28 percent of his AA plate appearances. Not a single one of the players on your list was anywhere near that rate in AA. In fact, nearly all of them had K rates about 10 percentage points lower than Sano.

And as much as you don't want to compare Sano to Hicks, the latter struck out at a significantly lower rate than Sano in AA, just over 20%, and still struggled to make contact in the majors.

Also, it's odd that you should bring up Trout's name at all. He started 2012 in triple A, just like many people are hoping Sano will. If the Angels can do that with a guy who owned double A even more than Sano has, is there really anything keeping the Twins from doing it?

Trout's AAA time came AFTER his first big league call up.

Oxtung
08-22-2013, 05:15 PM
I answered that actually. Again, I reject the empty question of whether he's "ready." My position is that a taste of The Show will help Sano's development this offseason, and that Sano's also the best 3rd baseman in the organization - giving the team the best chance to win this September.

All if that is debatable, of course, but "you don't know everything" isn't a very strong rebuttal.

In order for there to be a rebuttal we have to be at odds. Since I haven't taken a position on whether Sano is ready to face major league pitchers (yes I know you don't like this phrase) how could I be rebutting you?

Since you didn't like my previous vocubulary, why do you think that Sano is ready to continue his development at the major league level? Why do you think Sano is the best 3B in the organization? Why does he give the Twins the best chance to win in September?

Mr. Brooks
08-22-2013, 05:15 PM
I'm not at all convinced about Sano. I hope with all my heart that my doubts are unfounded, but something just doesn't translate for me. He's hit a ton of HR's and RBI's that much is true. But he's hitting .238 and striking out about 1/3 of the time. This is at AA after killing pitching at A. I assume that major league pitching must be an equally large leap from AA as that level was from A.

If so, what can we reasonably expect? Do K's rise from 30% to 45%? Do HR's fall from 1 every 13 AB to one every 17 AB? How do the twins look at this fall off and justify a call up ths year? I don't know the answer, but I see bigger challenges than most people seem to see.

i sure hope I'm wrong because I am looking forward to seeing him in a Twins uni.

The batting average probably has a lot to do with his babip dropping 90 points from his career average. While some of that can be attributed to better defense, it's certainly not 90 points worth! With neutral luck I would think that he would be hitting close to .300.

28% is not "about 1/3" of the time, in fact it's much closer to 1/4 of the time than it is to 1/3 of the time.
It is also pretty close to his career norm. It was 26% at low A, and 25.1% at High A. He could be striking out more, or it could be chalked up to SSS. Either way it has to be within the MOE for a couple hundred AB's.
If you are going to bring up his slightly increased K rate, I also feel it's only fair to mention his slightly improved BB rate.
If his K rate is suddenly such a concern, then how did he become the #3 overall prospect in baseball? Because it's pretty much right in line with his career numbers at every other level.

BTW: Just so we are clear, I am not saying the Twins should call him up this year. I'm not even saying that he should start next year on the club.
I'm just saying that he COULD be ready as soon as right now.
Doesn't mean he is, but I certainly wouldn't claim someone else is wrong if their opinion is that he's not, so my posts are in frustration to other people claiming that I am wrong for thinking he might be.

LaBombo
08-22-2013, 05:27 PM
Trout's AAA time came AFTER his first big league call up.
And?

So will Sano's, assuming they call him up in September. If they don't, and the explanation is that he's not ready, then we should have our answer about whether they should trot him out there on opening day.

Oxtung
08-22-2013, 05:27 PM
If his K rate is suddenly such a concern, then how did he become the #3 overall prospect in baseball? Because it's pretty much right in line with his career numbers at every other level.

You are certainly right that his K rate is not a problem for national analysts and even for the Twins at this point since they keep promoting him. I wonder if that changes when he gets to the majors though. Arcia has seemingly been benched a couple of times after he strikes out a bunch.

CharacterGroove
08-22-2013, 05:59 PM
Sano is striking out in 28 percent of his AA plate appearances. Not a single one of the players on your list was anywhere near that rate in AA. In fact, nearly all of them had K rates about 10 percentage points lower than Sano.

And as much as you don't want to compare Sano to Hicks, the latter struck out at a significantly lower rate than Sano in AA, just over 20%, and still struggled to make contact in the majors.

Also, it's odd that you should bring up Trout's name at all. He started 2012 in triple A, just like many people are hoping Sano will. If the Angels can do that with a guy who owned double A even more than Sano has, is there really anything keeping the Twins from doing it?

Do you consider any other statistics of value? Because I'll be honest I'm not sold on strikeouts being the sole harbinger of success in the majors.

I'm actually glad you brought up Trout again. The young man got 40 games in the bigs as a 19-year-old in 2011. He didn't do spectacular, of course, but I wonder what he would say now about the experience. Certainly didn't hurt him going into 2012

Mr. Brooks
08-22-2013, 06:03 PM
And?

So will Sano's, assuming they call him up in September. If they don't, and the explanation is that he's not ready, then we should have our answer about whether they should trot him out there on opening day.

Because they took an aggressive shot and brought him up straight from AA. It didn't go as well as they hoped, so they started him at AAA the next year, and the rest is history.
I don't get why people act like the young man will be destroyed forever if we call him up too soon and he has to go back down for a few weeks.
It's the same thing I didn't understand when the explanation for keeping Gibson down was, "we don't want to call him up until he can stay up for good."
My question was why? Why is it the end of the world if a guy struggles and has to go down for a few weeks?
If a guy is that mentally fragile that it's going to ruin him if he has to go back down once or twice, then eventually he's going to fail no matter what.

CharacterGroove
08-22-2013, 06:21 PM
In order for there to be a rebuttal we have to be at odds. Since I haven't taken a position on whether Sano is ready to face major league pitchers (yes I know you don't like this phrase) how could I be rebutting you?

Since you didn't like my previous vocubulary, why do you think that Sano is ready to continue his development at the major league level? Why do you think Sano is the best 3B in the organization? Why does he give the Twins the best chance to win in September?

1. Because I think Sano has an alpha dog mentality. I think it would be good for him to feel the rush of The Show. He'd then have several months to think about it - about what he needs to do before April. That's my read.

2. Because Plouffe is an average bat and glove. I think Sano is already at his level as a MLB talent, with a significantly higher upside with experience. I understand that's all speculative and debatable. But the fact that Plouffe has been*lackluster is not

3. Better players improve a team's chance of winning.

Willihammer
08-22-2013, 07:03 PM
Again, I'm not arguing he isn't ready. My point is not I, and I would guess you, have any direct knowledge of if he is ready or not.

People pushing for his advancement in this thread seem to be wanting him pushed because they look at his stats, his placement as a prospect or a couple of quotes and assume they know everything there is to know. In a perfect world those would be enough to judge a prospect. We could just slot him in at 3B and call it good for the next decade. But reality is not that neat. Just because a prospect puts up impressive numbers doesn't mean he is ready.

Vernon Wells (http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=wells-001ver) seems to be a pretty good comp here. He started his age 20 season at A+ FSL where he OPSed .946. He was promoted to AA where he OPSed .919 which earned him a promotion to the International League and AAA. After posting a .837 OPS there he got a September callup to Toronto where he put up an .646 OPS in 24 games. Beginning his age 21 season he was ranked by BA as the #4 prospect.

He hardly played in the majors over the next two seasons and wouldn't be an everyday player until 23. Even then he OPSed .762 which, while decent, is not destroying the league. It wasn't until he was 24, 4 years after his first taste of the majors, that Wells put up a great season OPSing .909.

So, can we use stats or not?

The ironic thing is that there are stats which measure a guy's component skills but OPS isn't one of them. For example OBP and BB% give you a sense of a guy's plate discipline, ISO or AB/HR for raw power, K% for his contact ability, etc. So no, speaking strictly in terms of OPS it would be impossible to declare Sano ready to outperform Wells, Delmon Young, Jesus Montero, Mike Moustakas or any of these other guys. However I think that's a very limited perspective even for those of us following Sano's development from 1000 miles away.

Here is the thing, what is going to make or break Sano's career is power. In that respect, all these other comps fall short. None of them really touches Sano except Moustakas.

Who would I use as comps? Guys who, like Sano, have surpassed .300 ISOs in High A and / or Double A at age 20 or younger. Namely, Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Justin Upton, Jay Bruce, Giancarlo Stanton and... that's about it.This is a very select tier of players and by my count, 3 of the 5 are doing just fine while the other two are still too young to give up on.

And even if the two Royals do prove to be flops, it will be because they didn't have the talent to stick in the MLB, not because the Royals destroyed their skills by promoting them at a young age.

CharacterGroove
08-22-2013, 09:58 PM
So, can we use stats or not?

The ironic thing is that there are stats which measure a guy's component skills but OPS isn't one of them. For example OBP and BB% give you a sense of a guy's plate discipline, ISO or AB/HR for raw power, K% for his contact ability, etc. So no, speaking strictly in terms of OPS it would be impossible to declare Sano ready to outperform Wells, Delmon Young, Jesus Montero, Mike Moustakas or any of these other guys. However I think that's a very limited perspective even for those of us following Sano's development from 1000 miles away.

Here is the thing, what is going to make or break Sano's career is power. In that respect, all these other comps fall short. None of them really touches Sano except Moustakas.

Who would I use as comps? Guys who, like Sano, have surpassed .300 ISOs in High A and / or Double A at age 20 or younger. Namely, Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Justin Upton, Jay Bruce, Giancarlo Stanton and... that's about it.This is a very select tier of players and by my count, 3 of the 5 are doing just fine while the other two are still too young to give up on.

And even if the two Royals do prove to be flops, it will be because they didn't have the talent to stick in the MLB, not because the Royals destroyed their skills by promoting them at a young age.

And that's really what this discussion is about: September, April, May, June, or sometime thereafter. It's not about whether Sano will reach his potential. (And to be honest, as much as I've taken the "aggressive" position, I'm not bullish on his prospects as an All-Star talent.)

My position is based more on the philosophy of giving your ace the ball. I don't think Sano is the type of guy who needs to be protected from failure, and the Twins are certainly a team that needs his skills as soon as possible. And as good as Sano's skills are, he'll need MLB experience. Everybody will agree with that. The Twins can start that process down the road or seize a potential opportunity. It's a risk-reward thing for me: I don't see the reasonable downside.

Ncgo4
08-22-2013, 10:27 PM
Mr Brooks wrote:

"28% is not "about 1/3" of the time, in fact it's much closer to 1/4 of the time than it is to 1/3 of the time.
It is also pretty close to his career norm. It was 26% at low A, and 25.1% at High A. He could be striking out more, or it could be chalked up to SSS. Either way it has to be within the MOE for a couple hundred AB's."

As of tonight Sano has 66 K's in 197 AB's. 66/197 = 33.5 %. I fully understand that 200 AB's do not constitute an adequate statistical sample. Also, I am not making a case that Miguel is less (or more) than his hype. I was just pointing out the obvious observation that he has had some hitting issues at the higher minor leage level. And I was asking if this was a concern when considering if he should be promoted two levels more by taking him to the majors this season's last few weeks.

LaBombo
08-22-2013, 10:42 PM
Do you consider any other statistics of value? Because I'll be honest I'm not sold on strikeouts being the sole harbinger of success in the majors.

I'm actually glad you brought up Trout again. The young man got 40 games in the bigs as a 19-year-old in 2011. He didn't do spectacular, of course, but I wonder what he would say now about the experience. Certainly didn't hurt him going into 2012
Of course Sano's other stats have value in deciding his future. But he lags well behind the names you mentioned in terms of his ability to make contact, and that will probably get worse in the majors, especially if he skips AAA.

Only a handful of MLB hitters are able to be consistently valuable with strikeout rates over 25%. Sano has the potential to be one of those guys, but why rush him when there is a glaring weakness in his game?

And while I think the Twins organization is a little too wrapped up in 'play the game the right way' (especially Sano's silly multigame sit after the home run trot), I'd rather see Sano take as many of those lumps as possible in the minors instead of the majors.

Not sure I ever raised an objection to a September callup for Sano. In a developmental vacuum it's relatively harmless at worst, and somewhat beneficial at best.

My concern would be that a fluky-good September and a Hicksian spring training would lead the Twins to make the same mistake with Sano that they did with Hicks. Then again, maybe they'll make that mistake based on a good spring alone. Hard to say.

At any rate, we're not going to see eye to eye on Sano's 2014 anyway, because most of what I've read leads me to believe that service time really is a critical issue. For that reason alone it looks to me like it would be a big mistake to start Sano in the majors next year.

Oxtung
08-22-2013, 10:58 PM
So, can we use stats or not?

The ironic thing is that there are stats which measure a guy's component skills but OPS isn't one of them. For example OBP and BB% give you a sense of a guy's plate discipline, ISO or AB/HR for raw power, K% for his contact ability, etc. So no, speaking strictly in terms of OPS it would be impossible to declare Sano ready to outperform Wells, Delmon Young, Jesus Montero, Mike Moustakas or any of these other guys. However I think that's a very limited perspective even for those of us following Sano's development from 1000 miles away.

Here is the thing, what is going to make or break Sano's career is power. In that respect, all these other comps fall short. None of them really touches Sano except Moustakas.

Who would I use as comps? Guys who, like Sano, have surpassed .300 ISOs in High A and / or Double A at age 20 or younger. Namely, Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Justin Upton, Jay Bruce, Giancarlo Stanton and... that's about it.This is a very select tier of players and by my count, 3 of the 5 are doing just fine while the other two are still too young to give up on.

And even if the two Royals do prove to be flops, it will be because they didn't have the talent to stick in the MLB, not because the Royals destroyed their skills by promoting them at a young age.

Your point is well taken about OPS versus more component specific stats. Still, let's take K% to look at his contact rate. He is striking out at a rate of 28.3% right now in AA (yes I'm sure that's coming down from his rough early stretch) that is approaching a dangerous level of strikeouts. Even for sluggers there is a point at which the strikeout rate becomes prohibitive to their over all value. So, 28%, what does that tell you? Is he having trouble with breaking pitches? Is it fastballs up? Is he caught looking because he's too patient? Before a judgement can be made on how he will handle major league pitching one must first know the cause of the problem and that is something we just don't have available to us, unless you are aware of much more detailed statistics for the minor leagues than I am.

Let's look at BB%. Is he walking at a good clip because minor league pitchers are scared to throw him strikes? Or does he actually have a good eye at the plate? Both? Again, the statistics I have don't have that kind of precision.

Is his babip high because he crushes balls and therefore more gets through for hits or because he's just been lucky? How will he handle failure, because it is guaranteed at some point in the majors? Is he mature enough to handle the fame that is going to follow his ascension? As soon as he is called up he will be front page news on ESPN (perhaps not for a Sept call up but he will be when he gets called up next season).

Statistics can tell you quite a bit especially with major league players that have years of detailed track records. I think that if the underlying data were available the entire game of baseball could be described using probabilities, but that data doesn't exist at the minor league level, at least that I am aware of. Perhaps you know where to find it?

Oxtung
08-22-2013, 11:03 PM
As of tonight Sano has 66 K's in 197 AB's. 66/197 = 33.5 %. I fully understand that 200 AB's do not constitute an adequate statistical sample.

K% and BB% are currently usually defined as per plate appearance, not per at bat. I think that is where your disagreement lies. When you look per plate appearance he is at 28.3%. Somebody once mentioned, and I can't remember who it was on this board, that Fangraphs used to define % per AB but switched to per PA at some point in the recent past.

Oxtung
08-22-2013, 11:14 PM
1. Because I think Sano has an alpha dog mentality. I think it would be good for him to feel the rush of The Show. He'd then have several months to think about it - about what he needs to do before April. That's my read.

2. Because Plouffe is an average bat and glove. I think Sano is already at his level as a MLB talent, with a significantly higher upside with experience. I understand that's all speculative and debatable. But the fact that Plouffe has been*lackluster is not

3. Better players improve a team's chance of winning.

1) I don't believe his attitude has much bearing on whether he is ready to continue his development at the major league level. If that was the deciding factor then he probably should have just signed a major league contract at 16 and this would have been solved long ago.

2-3) You answered these questions by basically saying "I believe ...." with out giving any reasons why you believe. There is some underlying reason I'm guessing and not just a gut feeling.

Willihammer
08-23-2013, 09:21 AM
Before a judgement can be made on how he will handle major league pitching one must first know the cause of the problem and that is something we just don't have available to us, unless you are aware of much more detailed statistics for the minor leagues than I am.

Or, you could just stick in the major leagues and find out. As another poster said, I hightly doubt the Twins aren't also guessing as to what moment exactly Sano is "ready." At some point we are all just going to have to see how he handles it even if he hasn't ironed out every flaw in his swing.

What do you think is the worst that can happen?

Sano strikes out a lot. So did Miggy Cabrera when he was 20. Guys need reps to get better, I think the level where they see those reps is a secondary point.

If after a good look at what MLB pitchers have to offer he is not showing progress, you can always option him back down.

CharacterGroove
08-23-2013, 12:01 PM
Of course Sano's other stats have value in deciding his future. But he lags well behind the names you mentioned in terms of his ability to make contact, and that will probably get worse in the majors, especially if he skips AAA.

Only a handful of MLB hitters are able to be consistently valuable with strikeout rates over 25%. Sano has the potential to be one of those guys, but why rush him when there is a glaring weakness in his game?

And while I think the Twins organization is a little too wrapped up in 'play the game the right way' (especially Sano's silly multigame sit after the home run trot), I'd rather see Sano take as many of those lumps as possible in the minors instead of the majors.

Not sure I ever raised an objection to a September callup for Sano. In a developmental vacuum it's relatively harmless at worst, and somewhat beneficial at best.

My concern would be that a fluky-good September and a Hicksian spring training would lead the Twins to make the same mistake with Sano that they did with Hicks. Then again, maybe they'll make that mistake based on a good spring alone. Hard to say.

At any rate, we're not going to see eye to eye on Sano's 2014 anyway, because most of what I've read leads me to believe that service time really is a critical issue. For that reason alone it looks to me like it would be a big mistake to start Sano in the majors next year.

A point of disagreement between us might be that I don't believe a September call-up would fall under "rushing" Sano to the bigs. I think it's a rather reasonable progression considering his talent, the fact that he's finishing his 4th good year as a professional, and the fact that he turns 21 next spring.

CharacterGroove
08-23-2013, 12:32 PM
1) I don't believe his attitude has much bearing on whether he is ready to continue his development at the major league level. If that was the deciding factor then he probably should have just signed a major league contract at 16 and this would have been solved long ago.

2-3) You answered these questions by basically saying "I believe ...." with out giving any reasons why you believe. There is some underlying reason I'm guessing and not just a gut feeling.

Attitude (i.e., confidence), maturity, and all other emotional and/or psychological attributes are major factors in athletic success. I know you understand that so I really don't understand your point here. Argue for the sake of arguing? If you are, at least stay on topic and say "no, Sano seems like a delicate flower, and may be irreversibly harmed if he does poorly at the MLB level this fall." Or you can always fall back on: "I don't know Sano's makeup, and neither do you, so it's all too speculative." I can't disagree with that.

My opinion on Sano is based on scouting reports and box scores. My opinion is of course bolstered by the success of other elite prospects with similar experience and success at the MiLB level. My opinion on Plouffe is based on first-hand viewing and box scores.

Oxtung
08-23-2013, 07:27 PM
Attitude (i.e., confidence), maturity, and all other emotional and/or psychological attributes are major factors in athletic success. I know you understand that so I really don't understand your point here. Argue for the sake of arguing? If you are, at least stay on topic and say "no, Sano seems like a delicate flower, and may be irreversibly harmed if he does poorly at the MLB level this fall." Or you can always fall back on: "I don't know Sano's makeup, and neither do you, so it's all too speculative." I can't disagree with that.

My opinion on Sano is based on scouting reports and box scores. My opinion is of course bolstered by the success of other elite prospects with similar experience and success at the MiLB level. My opinion on Plouffe is based on first-hand viewing and box scores.

You missed my point which is fine. I don't know what the second half of your first paragraph is meant to be, but it is comical.

I asked why you believed Sano deserved a promotion. You replied, because he had "an alpha dog personality". The idea that a players personality should be used to determine when somebody is ready for a promotion is poorly thought out. If Sano has an "alpha dog personality", and I have no idea how one could know that from a few interviews and a few quotes, he has had that since before he was signed. Therefore, using your logic, he should have been promoted to the majors when he was acquired at 16 years old.

So if Sano is not called up in September or start next season as the 3B starter does that mean the Twins are wrong? Or does that mean you are wrong?

Oxtung
08-23-2013, 07:48 PM
Or, you could just stick in the major leagues and find out. As another poster said, I hightly doubt the Twins aren't also guessing as to what moment exactly Sano is "ready." At some point we are all just going to have to see how he handles it even if he hasn't ironed out every flaw in his swing.

What do you think is the worst that can happen?

Sano strikes out a lot. So did Miggy Cabrera when he was 20. Guys need reps to get better, I think the level where they see those reps is a secondary point.

If after a good look at what MLB pitchers have to offer he is not showing progress, you can always option him back down.

You're absolutely right that they are to a degree "guessing", but they at least have all the information there is available to make an informed decision. No matter how much you and I search we just don't have that information about the minor leagues and more importantly about Sano himself.

You seem to be advocating tossing Sano into a pool of water without knowing if it is 3 ft. deep or 30 and just hoping that the kid can swim even though standing right next to you is the pool owner.

I do believe that players can be irreversibly damaged by pushing too fast for the same reason I believe players can be damaged by stagnation.

There are real consequences to promoting players too quickly. Let's look at Hicks. The Twins lost most of a season of team control, which in Sano's case could be tens of millions of dollars. Hicks never could learn to adapt so he basically wasted a year of potential development time. He has soured his profile in the public's mind. I'm sure there are more but those are off the top of my head.

If guys just need reps and it doesn't matter where they get them then why push him that quickly, assuming the Twins think he isn't ready? 2014 is a lost season and I know that you agree with me there. Whether he gets a Sept call up, starts next season as the 3B or comes up in June it doesn't change the fact that he will get significant playing time in 2014 and be penciled in somewhere to start 2015.

CharacterGroove
08-24-2013, 01:43 AM
You missed my point which is fine. I don't know what the second half of your first paragraph is meant to be, but it is comical.

I asked why you believed Sano deserved a promotion. You replied, because he had "an alpha dog personality". The idea that a players personality should be used to determine when somebody is ready for a promotion is poorly thought out. If Sano has an "alpha dog personality", and I have no idea how one could know that from a few interviews and a few quotes, he has had that since before he was signed. Therefore, using your logic, he should have been promoted to the majors when he was acquired at 16 years old.

So if Sano is not called up in September or start next season as the 3B starter does that mean the Twins are wrong? Or does that mean you are wrong?

I actually replied with three answers - one for each of your three questions. Please correct me if I'm straying. My first point related to Sano's "alpha dog personality." And I might add that I didn't expect my opinion with that to be interpreted on an island. His accolades are well documented.

With your subsequent zinger, please notice that my answer of "alpha dog personality" was not in response to any question about "deserv[ing] a promotion." Regardless, if that's the general question now posed, let's use some logic. I don't know any 16-year-olds with Sano's numbers, scouting reports, and of course experience. Do you? I've been arguing that it makes sense for Sano to "continue his development at the major league level." I didn't pull that question out of thin air.

On the topic of logic, you'll have to rephrase those last two questions.

Oxtung
08-24-2013, 06:28 PM
I actually replied with three answers - one for each of your three questions. Please correct me if I'm straying. My first point related to Sano's "alpha dog personality." And I might add that I didn't expect my opinion with that to be interpreted on an island. His accolades are well documented.

With your subsequent zinger, please notice that my answer of "alpha dog personality" was not in response to any question about "deserv[ing] a promotion." Regardless, if that's the general question now posed, let's use some logic. I don't know any 16-year-olds with Sano's numbers, scouting reports, and of course experience. Do you? I've been arguing that it makes sense for Sano to "continue his development at the major league level." I didn't pull that question out of thin air.

On the topic of logic, you'll have to rephrase those last two questions.

This is pointless and frustrating. You seem unwilling to stand by your previous comments. I'll just list my point of view a final time and then walk away from this thread.

It is great to see Sano putting up big time stats and being highly ranked. Hopefully that bodes well for his future. However, there have been other highly ranked, stat stuffers that have been pushed quickly to the Majors and failed. Rankings and stats are not everything when it comes to minor league promotion. Prospects fail and succeed based on more than their stats. It is the little things that can make or break a prospect, little things that we can not know because we don't get to see these players on a regular basis. We don't get to know them on a personal level. No matter how much we read or listen to reports and interviews we can't glean enough to make a judgement on a particular player. The only people with enough of the information, and therefore in the best position to make a determination, are the Twins instructors, personnel and staff.

I don't know this is the case, but it seems a few of you think that if the Twins don't promote Sano in September or if he isn't the opening day starter at 3B then the Twins have made the wrong decision. That seems illogical.

Now, if your argument was that the Twins move prospects slowly as a whole and some of them could be moved quicker, I might be able to get behind that.

CharacterGroove
08-25-2013, 09:52 AM
This is pointless and frustrating. You seem unwilling to stand by your previous comments. I'll just list my point of view a final time and then walk away from this thread.

It is great to see Sano putting up big time stats and being highly ranked. Hopefully that bodes well for his future. However, there have been other highly ranked, stat stuffers that have been pushed quickly to the Majors and failed. Rankings and stats are not everything when it comes to minor league promotion. Prospects fail and succeed based on more than their stats. It is the little things that can make or break a prospect, little things that we can not know because we don't get to see these players on a regular basis. We don't get to know them on a personal level. No matter how much we read or listen to reports and interviews we can't glean enough to make a judgement on a particular player. The only people with enough of the information, and therefore in the best position to make a determination, are the Twins instructors, personnel and staff.

I don't know this is the case, but it seems a few of you think that if the Twins don't promote Sano in September or if he isn't the opening day starter at 3B then the Twins have made the wrong decision. That seems illogical.

Now, if your argument was that the Twins move prospects slowly as a whole and some of them could be moved quicker, I might be able to get behind that.

I'll be even more straightforward. My "alpha dog mentality" comment was in response to your question of "why [I] think Sano should continue his development at the major league level." (Post #103) You replied by saying that my comment essentially argues that Sano should have always been in the bigs. (#110) I didn't think that nonsensical point was worth a response, so I instead focused on why you're even arguing this in the first place, because I know you understand the emotional and psychological aspect of player development. (#113) For reasons only you know, you then decided to double down on that nonsensical argument. (#114) In doing so, however, and undoubtedly as a crutch, you framed a completely different question, and then mocked my putative answer to that question. (same)

Not only do I stand by my previous comments, I'll remind you exactly what I said. (It's all on record.) This whole line of questioning started with a question of "Why do you believe that Sano is ready to be called up to the majors?" (#91). If you go from there, you'll see that my comment of "alpha dog mentality" became one part of that general answer. (#94, 97, to previous cites)

In response this post, I still agree that I'm not in the best position to make a decision, and that variables not seen in box scores or scouting reports should matter. But I disagree with your repeated assertion that one variable to consider is the fact that other highly-ranked prospects that were brought to the majors at age 20 have failed.

It's a wrong decision if Sano's best interests are not served. This, of course, has a strong relationship with the Twins' best interests. My argument should be pretty clear based on that "logic."

Ncgo4
08-25-2013, 12:16 PM
Opting, your comments were spot on. Only speaking for myself, I look at numbers and draw conclusions. There's nothing wrong with this, my Dad used to say, "It's results that count." But as you point out it's incomplete as far as true evaluation.

In terms of evaluating Sano's current value and his readiness to be moved up his current raw statistics are what should be used. As far as measuring his potential stardom and establishing a training/teaching plan we need the things you pointed out. Why is he striking out so much? Can't hit a curve ball? Doesn't know the strike zone. Can't pick up the ball coming off the pitchers hand?

It would be interesting to know what the Twins brain trust believes the answers are. You can bet the opposition has been charting these kinds of things and they think they know the answers.

CharacterGroove
08-25-2013, 08:13 PM
I didn't quite catch the exact same period, but below is Sano's numbers in A+ and AA through approximately the same period.



Team
League
AVG
G
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
TB
BB
SO
SB
CS
OBP
SLG
OPS


FTM
FSL
.330
56
206
51
68
15
2
16
48
135
29
61
9
2
.424
.655
1.079


NBR
EAS
.244
60
209
32
51
14
2
17
51
120
29
71
2
1
.340
.574
.914


Minors

.287
116
415
83
119
29
4
33
99
255
58
132
11
3
.382
.614
.996



Looking at the full picture, the average can be a little deceiving.