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Game Thread: Twins vs. Seattle, 4/10/21 @ 1:10pm

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 03:02 PM
Welcome back to the Twins Daily game thread party! After a rare Friday night off the Minnesota Twins will take on the Seattle Mariners t...
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Morneau

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:09 PM
I thought he was was really good last year. Maybe I'm on an opening day high (Not high) but he is so good.Who would have thought he would...
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The 5 Rule Draft

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 01:52 PM
This year's Rule 5 draft we lost Akil Baddo and Tyler Wells. So I thought I'd check to see how they were doing. 1st I checked on Baddo, h...
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Ex Twins in 2021: Where Are They Now?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:19 PM
One of my favorite annual threads on the site. Let’s stay updated on ex-Twins in the news... This is a start of a list, and feel free to...
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2021 MLB (non-Twins) Season news

Other Baseball Today, 09:54 AM
A thread for news from around Major League Baseball. Tonight in L.A., the Angels will forego their DH in order to let Shohei Ohtani both...
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Miguel Sano is Off to a Worrisome Start

The Twins are hoping for a bit of a bounce-back season from Miguel Sano in 2021, but so far things aren't going well. Let's take a look at how he has started.
Image courtesy of © David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
The short 2020 season was not kind to Miguel Sano. Although he did hit the ball as hard as any other year, he rarely hit the ball. His K% was a career high at 43.9% which was in the bottom 1% in baseball. Along with that, his OPS dropped to .757 in what was a down season overall.

He showed a lot of potential in 2019 that made us think 2021 should be a bounce-back season. Unfortunately, that has not at all been the case so far.

Through his first six games (I know, small sample size,) Sano has just two hits in 23 at-bats with 12 strikeouts. He has a career-high Whiff% at 46.9% and a career-low exit velocity at 87.1 MPH. For context, in 2019 the Whiff% was 37.7% and exit velocity was 94.4 MPH.

With Josh Donaldson going down immediately, the Twins need the power and consistency from Miguel Sano that we saw in 2019. If he can just hit for a .240 average with an OPS of .850 that would be more than enough production.

He is off to a terrible start so I expect Sano to raise those numbers, but can he raise them above the rough 2020 numbers? Right now I think I would bet he looks more like the 2020 version of himself than the 2019 version, which is not good for the Twins.

By the end of this month we will have a much better sample size to determine what kind of year Sano will probably have. Right now we can only go off of a very rough first five games.

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55 Comments

Yeah I want to give him the benefit of the doubt but the K's are just killing his ability to be a MLB player.He did have three walks the other day and IMO the umps have not been kind to him especially on high strikes and off the plate strikes that appear pretty wide.Still it doesn't seem like he is seeing the ball as well as he needs to.Add in the fact that he has a huge hole in his swing with trouble making contact and things don't look good right now for the righty slugger.

 

Maybe he is thinking too much.Maybe he is isn't thinking enough I don't know all I know is that it would be nice if we had a more productive bat in that spot right now. When he comes up to bat he is an almost automatic out.Often times the pitcher only needs three pitches and he is done.Can't have that from a MLB player.  

 

It is early can't panic yet but he needs to at the very least start making contact with the ball or benched for someone like Astudillo who can at least put the ball in play.

    • TopGunn#22 and bighat like this
Let’s trade him for Gerrit Cole and Gleybar Torres

jk jk

He’s in year 2 of his contract, right? Trade value likely at an all time low and Kirilloff/Sabato forcing the issue here sooner or later. Twins may end up deciding between Kepler or Sano here shortly.
    • TopGunn#22 likes this
I am on record as being a Sano doubter. His long majestic home runs seem like just enough to keep hope for him alive for some. I might end up looking stupid for saying this. But I really think we would be better off short and long term by making Kiriloff our every day first baseman.
    • Twins33 and TopGunn#22 like this
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tony&rodney
Apr 07 2021 08:08 PM

We need to check this on May 1; it is early. The big man is having some long at bats and a few quick ones.

    • BBAM likes this
Can we wait at least a month before these extreme takes?
    • Dman, KirbyDome89 and BBAM like this

Rookie Sano was the best Sano. Whatever he has done since then it hasn't been working. Occasionally he will get red hot but then its more of the same old, swing and miss.

    • Twins33 and bighat like this
My opinion does not qualify as "an extreme take." The sample size is not small and he is not going to suddenly become Big Pappi. Time to stop holding out hope IMHO.
    • Twins33, USNMCPO, TopGunn#22 and 4 others like this
I think it is a good sign that he is drawing some walks. His rookie year he seemed to wait the pitchers out and make them throw strikes. That went away and he has been a mess since. Like I have said repeatedly he will run into 30 cookies a year but that’s about it.

I concur--not a small sample size really. Just a continuation of who he probably is. The k's have never stopped. yes he will hit a mistake a mile, once in awhile. But you can't have a guy in the lineup every night that can't make contact.50% of the time.

I have to believe he may have a short leash this season.

    • TopGunn#22, laloesch and bighat like this
We got rid of Cron who could also hit 30 home runs. He didn't live up to what we wanted from a first baseman. Sano is not living up to anyone's imagination at this point and I join anybody who wishes he would just catch fire and leave the strikeouts in the dust, but history doesn't give me as much hope as I wish it would
    • Dave The Dastardly likes this
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drivlikejehu
Apr 07 2021 10:02 PM

Sano always does this. He's basically a league-average starting first baseman. Sure, he goes through these slumps - if he didn't, he'd be a superstar - but he's ultimately been pretty consistent throughout his career, once you account for swings in BABIP. He's keeping the spot warm for Kirilloff, Larnach, or Sabato.

    • TopGunn#22, laloesch and wabene like this

My opinion does not qualify as "an extreme take." The sample size is not small and he is not going to suddenly become Big Pappi. Time to stop holding out hope IMHO.


He is what he is. Not sure how the start of this season changed your view of him at all
    • BBAM likes this
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KirbyDome89
Apr 07 2021 11:29 PM

 

My opinion does not qualify as "an extreme take."

The sample size is not small 

23 ABs and we're 7 days into the season....

    • BBAM likes this

Regardless of how small...... I agree. Worrisome performance by Sano. Hard to watch.

    • bighat likes this

Troublesome, worrisome, frustrating - all of the above. But what else is new?

Sano's career in a nutshell has been marked by long, deep hitting slumps followed by short bursts of amazing power and skill. He's not 21 anymore, he's not even 24. The guy's 27 and this is who he is. His home runs are incredibly noteworthy, but so are his strikeout numbers. This spring he batted .159 with a 50% strikeout rate, he's basically not made any improvements on that so far this year.

 

He's fallen to batting in the 6th and 7th spots, respectively. Yesterday he was batting 7th against a lefty - I think that tells you all you need to know.

 

Concerning for sure.

    • USAFChief, TopGunn#22, Dman and 2 others like this

I think Sano pretty much is what he is. He'll go stretches were it seems like making contact is nearly impossible and he's swinging out of his shoes. Then he'll go on stretches were everything he hits goes 450'. His only consistency is in inconsistency.

 

It is troubling to see him dropping in the order though. Even with the guys in this lineup, he should be at the heart of the order. He simply doesn't produce well enough consistently to put him there though.

    • Minny505 and bighat like this
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puckstopper1
Apr 08 2021 06:04 AM

 

He is what he is. Not sure how the start of this season changed your view of him at all

 

AZ - while I agree with this comment in general, the article had this quote "He showed a lot of potential in 2019 that made us think 2021 should be a bounce-back season."

 

I don't know who "us" is, but I believe that is at the crux of the posters angst.

 

Many of "us" are more realistic about Sano - that being he does hit some majestic HRs but the majority of time he can not be trusted at the plate, and if he hasn't figured it out at this point in his career, he never will....

    • laloesch, Dave The Dastardly, rv78 and 1 other like this
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stringer bell
Apr 08 2021 07:26 AM

Sanó seems on his way to Mark Reynolds territory. Yes, he'll hit a lot of homers, but will have prodigious strikeout totals. The slumps are too long and deep and the periods of elite hitting are too short. Alex Kirilloff may find a home at first base instead of left field. 

 

I do want to say that I don't think Sanó's problems are weight or attitude. He plays hard and seems to be a good teammate. He hasn't developed into an all-around hitter despite hard work. 

    • Danchat, wsnydes and bighat like this

No, this is not a small sample size.Most of us thought something of Cruz had rubbed off on Sano after the 2019 Bomba squad but even in 2019 there were HUGE holes in his swing.I was pushing all off-season for a trade of Sano.I liked Colorado as a possible landing spot due to the temptation of his power---then they signed Cron.

He will always be a rally killer with his strikeouts.It's not really a decision between Kepler and Sano at all.Sano will be gone in 2021, possibly 2022.Kiriloff, Larnach, Rooker and Sabato give the Twins plenty of BETTER options than Sano.The sooner the Twins make a change, the better.

    • denarded, laloesch, Dr. Evil and 6 others like this

Have to agree with the anti-Sano crowd.He's had enough time to prove himself.These type of all or nothing types do little to help the team.As things stand now, we have maybe three consistent hitters - Cruz,Arraez, and Donaldson(if he ever stays healthy).Simmons looks like he could join this list, but a little early.I'm not writing Polanco off yet but his falloff from the first half of 2019 is cause for concern.

 

To bolster this team's ability to have a balanced lineup, I would like to see Armadillo play 1B, at least enough to see how he fields the position.This man can just hit and should be in the lineup every day.Rooker is more Sano-like and should not.I believe Arraez should be playing every day and when not filling in at 3B, should be playing LF until Kirillof or Larnach prove they're ready(I like Garlick as a backup if the rooks don't make it).When/if that happens, time to consider trading Polanco, allowing Arraez to return to 2B.This team needs their best contact hitters in the L/U every day!

    • PDX Twin and Dave The Dastardly like this
Can we appreciate Sano for what he is? A guy that will have a lot of strikeouts, low average, but a lot of home runs and good OPS. That’s still a solid player. It’s almost like you guys expect him to be a hall of Famer which is unfair expectations. I remember riding back from Beloit when he was down there. I told my buddy that Rosario would be more valuable player if he stuck at 2B. Well he didn’t stick but my initial valuation was a lot closer than anyone expected. He is still a fine player but he is what he is. He will have some hot streaks and we will be glad to have him. If you are expecting Barry Bonds out there, then sorry.
    • bighat and BBAM like this
"When/if that happens, time to consider trading Polanco" I see Polanco bouncing back from last year, but even if he never matches his best stretches, this team needs depth. I would not trade Polanco at this point especially considering his contact. Now if Lewis and another infielder emerge, then trade Polanco and his contact would be an asset in that situation.
    • chpettit19 and bighat like this

He'll be fine. He'll have hot and cold stretches but he'll hit. 

    • cjj td and AZTwin like this

 

"When/if that happens, time to consider trading Polanco" I see Polanco bouncing back from last year, but even if he never matches his best stretches, this team needs depth. I would not trade Polanco at this point especially considering his contact. Now if Lewis and another infielder emerge, then trade Polanco and his contact would be an asset in that situation.

Exactly.Polanco is not the type of player you trade.He is on a team friendly deal and a good 2B.He also offers positional flexibility at SS and bottom line is a good player.There's not a player in the Twins org that could replace him.If you attempted to do so, we would have more stop gap career minor leaguers attempting to do so.Makes no sense when we have a solid core.

    • wabene likes this

I know that Sano usually starts off each season slow, but his performance thus far has definitely been alarming. He looks lost up there at the plate, taking close pitches with 2 strikes and hoping to draw a walk.

 

How is this the same hitter who tore up the league in 2015??