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Recent Blogs


Sano Going To Let It Eat

With big expectations, there are big responsibilities. It's fair to say that since signing with the Minnesota Twins as a teenager, Miguel Sano has been the focal point of some very big expectations. His massive power potential has long been the narrative, and despite being signed as a shortstop, the feeling was always that his bat and frame would push him from the position. Fast forward to 2018 and we've got a near-25 year-old who's toyed with those expectations, but has overlooked some of the responsibilities.
Image courtesy of © Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports
Entering the regular season, Miguel Sano finds himself in somewhat of a limbo. After being accused of sexual assault over the offseason (from an incident stemming years earlier), he awaits his fate as MLB conducts their investigation. My assumption is that some sort of discipline will be handed down, and given previous league decisions, it should come in somewhere under 30 games. Coming off a year in which he played 114 games for the Twins, he should still have opportunity to top that output. That being said, it's yet again another responsibility he's failed to make good on.

With reporters descending on Fort Myers for the beginning of Spring Training, it's once again come to light that Sano is significantly overweight. Derek Falvey hinted at that notion, suggesting the Minnesota third basemen's recovery from injury has gone well, but that he needs to now focus on getting to where he needs to be with his conditioning. That is a politically correct way of putting it, and in previous seasons Patrick Reusse has called it what it is. Miguel Sano is overweight.

Looking back to Reusse's column in March 2016, I had an issue with there seemingly being a suggested link between Sano being hurt because of being fat. While that may not have been fair, the Star Tribune columnist has been spot on when it comes to pegging the poundage for young Miguel. Once again, he's entered camp staring at 300 pounds and comes in around the 290 mark. To suggest that hampers relative production is unfair, but there are more than a few takeaways when it comes to what the scale is telling us.

First and foremost, there's a real lack of accountability to Minnesota for Sano. Having invested in him heavily as a player, and his development, the Twins have worked with him to stay on the infield dirt far earlier than the new regime's days. While shortstop was never going to be a reality, positional value at third base is significantly higher than having to be moved across the diamond as Joe Mauer's heir, or worse, solely a designated hitter. Despite having employed nutritionists in the clubhouse, and undoubtedly using offseason check-ins, Sano hasn't accomplished the Twins' goals in multiple seasons when it comes to his habits.

Secondly, there's the fallout in regard to the lack of accountability. Because of allowing his weight to balloon, the reality is that Sano's long-term value is sapped exponentially. Forget the reality that an increase to injury potential is a by-product of being overweight, the loss of a position makes one of the Twins greatest assets one dimensional. Even if he heads to first base, which is far from a foregone conclusion, Sano isn't viewed as the asset he could be if he was able to stick at the hot corner. Recently, KSTP's Darren Wolfson noted what was suspected all along: Sano wasn't going to entice the Rays into dealing Archer when seen as a one dimensional player.

At the end of the day, there are a few hard and fast realities for the Twins and Miguel Sano. First and foremost, they have a 24 year old who has failed to hold himself accountable, and has done so on multiple occasions. Secondly, they also have an extremely good ballplayer, who's capable of producing some of the greatest power outputs the game has seen on a year-by-year basis. I believe that in 2018 and beyond, Miguel Sano will put up multiple 30-plus homer seasons, and that he'll be of significant value going forward. I do also believe that the only person lowering his ceiling is himself.

No matter how his assault case shakes out, it seems as if there are multiple aspects of growing up when it comes to the opposite sex. No matter what his weight gets to, it's apparent there's a significant level of responsibility that can yet be adhered to. For both Miguel Sano and the Minnesota Twins, a stronger commitment to oneself from the player benefits all involved. Right now, there's a very talented ballplayer who can compete and produce at a very high level. If there is a comfortable situation here, where a point has been reached that improvement isn't demanded of the player to unlock superstar potential, well then, we'll only be able to wonder, what if?

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212 Comments

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Kelly Vance
Feb 20 2018 11:45 AM

Sano needs fewer (dinner) plate appearances

    • Jerr, Twins33, bizaff and 5 others like this

Weight and conditioning part is a bit reminiscent of Hrbek.I remember it being a pretty much annual issue with how much weight he put on.He was a great player and shoe in for Twins HOFer, but I think with different habits his ceiling was baseball HOF. Sano has a different ceiling also if he can't control his weight and condition.i don't think being an ok 3rd baseman or a mediocre 1st baseman adds that much value.Let him DH because it is his bat that plays. 

    • glunn and jkcarew like this

All it matters: 

Sano's MLB career line: 359 wOBA, 124 wRC+

and that's with him battling injuries and he still is a few season's off his prime.

 

Mauer's career line:.361 wOBA, 124 wRC+

 

Eeriliy similar, yet the same people who seemingly want to crucify Sano based on his genetics want to send Mauer to Cooperstown.

 

Sano is already answering his critics with really long fly balls at Fort Myers.I hope he continues throughout the season, overweight or not.

 

Babe Ruth should be happy that the BMI police was not around then...

    • glunn, frightwig, h2oface and 7 others like this

Good piece, Ted.He's definitely been his own worst enemy as far as conditioning.If there wasn't a trend, I'm sure he would have been cut a little slack with some weight gain this off-season, but it has been a trend.

 

As far as the allegations go, that just needs to play out at this point.I haven't seen anything legitimate reported that there have been other incidents since 2015 or when he was with the Lookouts, so I'm hopeful he has done some growing up in that area.

 

Unfortunately for the Twins, JD Martinez just signed a$110M deal to basically play DH.I hope Sano doesn't look at that the wrong way.

    • glunn, caninatl04 and flyin fin like this

Between Lewis, Javier, Polanco, Gordon, and Arraez, I think I am ready to give up on any hopes I had that Sano would be an elite, or even serviceable two-way player. Those guys should have the infield covered for the next decade, with Escobar and Adrianza holding things down for a year or two.

 

If Sano wants to be an elite, and hefty, DH only, fine.Sucks to waste that arm, but whatever.I had a friend about his size who struggled to stay at or below 260.If Sano is saying he'd rather be a slightly overweight 1B/DH, knowing he'll make a few ten millions less in his career, so be it.Not like he was ever going to provide elite 3B defense anyway.Maybe this is a case of addition by subtraction.

    • glunn, Jerr, NoCryingInBaseball and 5 others like this

 

All it matters: 

Sano's MLB career line: 359 wOBA, 124 wRC+

and that's with him battling injuries and he still is a few season's off his prime.

 

Mauer's career line:.361 wOBA, 124 wRC+

 

Eeriliy similar, yet the same people who seemingly want to crucify Sano based on his genetics want to send Mauer to Cooperstown.

 

Sano is already answering his critics with really long fly balls at Fort Myers.I hope he continues throughout the season, overweight or not.

 

Babe Ruth should be happy that the BMI police was not around then...

 

Are you saying that weight and conditioning don't matter? And your proof is by comparing Sano's performance with that of one single major league catcher?

 

Miguel Sano is a professional athlete with enormous potential. Conditioning may not matter as much in baseball as it does, say, basketball, but it's still very important. 

 

Improved conditioning reduces the chances of injury and it improves healing time and could lengthen his career. Improved conditioning will also make it more likely that Sano spends that career as a third baseman and not a DH. Miguel Sano the third baseman is a LOT more valuable than Miguel Sano the DH.

 

Miguel Sano's conditioning is a very legitimate concern. 

    • glunn, birdwatcher, Jerr and 15 others like this

He's a big guy and conditioning is always going to be an issue. I'm not surprised he added some weight since he was rehabbing a leg injury and it's tough to lose weight when you're limited on how much you can walk. Still, he looked serviceable at third most of last year, and as big as he is he's still a heck of an athlete. 

 

And his major value was always going to be that bat. Even if he's only a DH, his bat will more than make him worth it.

 

    • glunn, Shane Wahl, frightwig and 5 others like this

All it matters:
Sano's MLB career line: 359 wOBA, 124 wRC+
and that's with him battling injuries and he still is a few season's off his prime.

Mauer's career line: .361 wOBA, 124 wRC+

Eeriliy similar, yet the same people who seemingly want to crucify Sano based on his genetics want to send Mauer to Cooperstown.

Sano is already answering his critics with really long fly balls at Fort Myers. I hope he continues throughout the season, overweight or not.

Babe Ruth should be happy that the BMI police was not around then...

when doing the Mauer/Sano career comparisons, you forgot to include that Mauer battled some injuries too...oh, and that he did that offense while playing mostly catcher...oh and that Mauer has between 5 and 6 times as many PAs...oh, and that he plays quality defense. Lets see those comparisons as Sano plays another 12 or so seasons...If his body let's that happen.

Next, compare those same stats of Sanos to HOFer Ozzie Smith...
    • glunn, Jerr, gil4 and 7 others like this

 

Are you saying that weight and conditioning don't matter? And your proof is by comparing Sano's performance with that of one single major league catcher?

 

Miguel Sano is a professional athlete with enormous potential. Conditioning may not matter as much in baseball as it does, say, basketball, but it's still very important. 

 

Improved conditioning reduces the chances of injury and it improves healing time and potentially lengthening his career. Improved conditioning will also make it more likely that Sano spends that career as a third baseman and not a DH. Miguel Sano the third baseman is a LOT more valuable than Miguel Sano the DH.

 

Miguel Sano's conditioning is a very legitimate concern.

Sad to say, this isn't the first Spring training, with this story.

    • Platoon and Ted Schwerzler like this
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SF Twins Fan
Feb 20 2018 12:14 PM

 

All it matters: 

Sano's MLB career line: 359 wOBA, 124 wRC+

and that's with him battling injuries and he still is a few season's off his prime.

 

Mauer's career line:.361 wOBA, 124 wRC+

 

Eeriliy similar, yet the same people who seemingly want to crucify Sano based on his genetics want to send Mauer to Cooperstown.

 

Sano is already answering his critics with really long fly balls at Fort Myers.I hope he continues throughout the season, overweight or not.

 

Babe Ruth should be happy that the BMI police was not around then...

 

Those numbers are great but if he's getting injured every year and can't help the team make the playoffs and during the playoffs it's not going to matter.

    • beckmt and Ted Schwerzler like this

 

Physical fitness and conditioning as often times correlated to weight, to which I do not particularly agree. If you want a marathon runner, weight is important. If you want a guy to hit a ball a long way and move 90 feet at a time. Less so.

 

I have seen plenty of 300lb men dunk a basketball and run some pretty fast sprints. As long as he can do his job and his numbers play, I don't really care. Sano isn't stealing bases or outrunning a ground ball to short. 

 

His value is in the pop in his bat. If he can play third, even more valuable but we all kind of knew he would go to 1st/DH at some point. I guess I will freak out when he can't play 3rd because he cant bend over to grab the ball. 

 

I just do not see the end of the world if he is a 1st/DH guy. He was never a gold glove candidate and honestly, we may have better options defensively the way it is. His bat plays anywhere and who knows if we need to move a Dozier/Polanco/Gordon/PTBNL (I know this isn't perfect, just an example) there to actually save runs at third. 

 

Let the ripping begin

    • wagwan, frightwig and KirbyDome89 like this
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bustedstuff88
Feb 20 2018 12:22 PM

Wait a sec...I posted Sano to TB straight up for Archer acouple weeks back as a joke more than anything...was this actually the offer?

 

If so, damn is all I have to say.

 

Time will tell if that was an epic miss or a bullet dodged, from either side of the trade.

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Ted Schwerzler
Feb 20 2018 12:27 PM

 

All it matters: 

Sano's MLB career line: 359 wOBA, 124 wRC+

and that's with him battling injuries and he still is a few season's off his prime.

 

Mauer's career line:.361 wOBA, 124 wRC+

 

Eeriliy similar, yet the same people who seemingly want to crucify Sano based on his genetics want to send Mauer to Cooperstown.

 

Sano is already answering his critics with really long fly balls at Fort Myers.I hope he continues throughout the season, overweight or not.

 

Babe Ruth should be happy that the BMI police was not around then...

Speaking personally, I have no issue with Sano being overweight, other than a belief that it will limit his long term ceiling.

 

I fully expect him to crush 30+ HRs in 2018 and for many seasons beyond. Being a 1B or DH instead of a capable 3B and doing so limits his value significantly however.

    • SF Twins Fan and ToddlerHarmon like this

 

Physical fitness and conditioning as often times correlated to weight, to which I do not particularly agree. If you want a marathon runner, weight is important. If you want a guy to hit a ball a long way and move 90 feet at a time. Less so.

 

I have seen plenty of 300lb men dunk a basketball and run some pretty fast sprints. As long as he can do his job and his numbers play, I don't really care. Sano isn't stealing bases or outrunning a ground ball to short. 

 

His value is in the pop in his bat. If he can play third, even more valuable but we all kind of knew he would go to 1st/DH at some point. I guess I will freak out when he can't play 3rd because he cant bend over to grab the ball. 

 

I just do not see the end of the world if he is a 1st/DH guy. He was never a gold glove candidate and honestly, we may have better options defensively the way it is. His bat plays anywhere and who knows if we need to move a Dozier/Polanco/Gordon/PTBNL (I know this isn't perfect, just an example) there to actually save runs at third. 

 

Let the ripping begin

 

First, he is far less valuable as a 1B/DH than he is a 3B. There is no question about that. It may not be the "end of the world," but he's certainly not the player he could be.

 

And why are we excusing a player's conditioning like this? Why are you OK with him showing up to camp at 300 pounds? 

 

I just don't get that sentiment. I'm not saying Sano should be some skinny dude. But he definitely has to improve his conditioning and get in better shape. He has a lot of potential as a third baseman. Everybody should want him to realize that potential, and conditioning will get him there. 

    • glunn, Oldgoat_MN, 70charger and 3 others like this

 

Weight and conditioning part is a bit reminiscent of Hrbek.

Absolutely is.Eroded his performance by the time he was in his late 20's, and prematurely ended his career.As I remember, though, with Hrbek the media tended to laugh it off...just a good 'ole boy that wants to mix some bowling and fishing in with his baseball...'one of us', and all that.Interesting.

 

Having said that, I would like to see Sano carrying less weight.Increase the odds that he can be a serviceable 3rd baseman (which absolutely would help the Twins)...and even if not, would prolong the back-end of his career.

    • glunn, frightwig, kenbuddha and 1 other like this
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Ted Schwerzler
Feb 20 2018 12:28 PM

 

He's a big guy and conditioning is always going to be an issue. I'm not surprised he added some weight since he was rehabbing a leg injury and it's tough to lose weight when you're limited on how much you can walk. Still, he looked serviceable at third most of last year, and as big as he is he's still a heck of an athlete. 

 

And his major value was always going to be that bat. Even if he's only a DH, his bat will more than make him worth it.

Sano was serviceable at 3B last year, you aren't wrong. The problem is when this is a yearly trend, you get to a point where serviceable is the ceiling instead of the floor.

 

As a DH, or even a 1B, his bat is going to play. It just negates some of the ways he can impact the game, bring value to the team, or in a trade.

    • glunn, Twins33 and SF Twins Fan like this
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Ted Schwerzler
Feb 20 2018 12:31 PM

 

I just do not see the end of the world if he is a 1st/DH guy. He was never a gold glove candidate and honestly, we may have better options defensively the way it is. His bat plays anywhere and who knows if we need to move a Dozier/Polanco/Gordon/PTBNL (I know this isn't perfect, just an example) there to actually save runs at third. 

I don't think it's the end of the world either. At the end of the day, you're talking about a DH/1B that crushes 30 plus HRs a year, many teams want that. A DH though is somewhat of a dead roster spot as the ability is solely in the bat. It's not directly effecting Sano as much as it is the realization that the opportunity cost of having to backfill him with an inferior player is unfortunate.

    • ToddlerHarmon likes this
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Ted Schwerzler
Feb 20 2018 12:32 PM

 

Wait a sec...I posted Sano to TB straight up for Archer acouple weeks back as a joke more than anything...was this actually the offer?

 

If so, damn is all I have to say.

 

Time will tell if that was an epic miss or a bullet dodged, from either side of the trade.

At this given moment, thinking (Sano or not) a 1B/DH with massive power numbers is ever going to net a top tier pitcher under team control for more than a couple seasons is certainly a stretch. How it works out down the road is one thing, but it's not shocking in the least to see that offer dismissed.

 

Sano was serviceable at 3B last year, you aren't wrong. The problem is when this is a yearly trend, you get to a point where serviceable is the ceiling instead of the floor.

 

As a DH, or even a 1B, his bat is going to play. It just negates some of the ways he can impact the game, bring value to the team, or in a trade.

 

... while increasing his injury risk. 

    • glunn and SF Twins Fan like this
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Deduno Abides
Feb 20 2018 12:34 PM

Physical fitness and conditioning as often times correlated to weight, to which I do not particularly agree. If you want a marathon runner, weight is important. If you want a guy to hit a ball a long way and move 90 feet at a time. Less so.


Picking on the statement, not the poster, because this is a common thought.

Who are the power hitters in the last several years for whom fitness didn’t matter? People sometimes say David Ortiz, because he had a somewhat round body, but my understanding was that he worked out hard and was ripped, despite appearances. Other players who come to mind are all in great fitness - Trout, Bryant, Stanton, Judge, Harper, JD Martinez. Bellinger outhomered Sano last year, while looking like a toothpick in comparison. Brian Dozier is in great shape. Miguel Cabrera is large, but in much better shape than Sano.

It’s also a bad message to teammates after missing time with injuries. “You guys have to work out, but don’t worry about me, because I’m special, even though I wasn’t there for you last year, because that wasn’t my fault.”
    • glunn, Oldgoat_MN, Tibs and 6 others like this

 

Those numbers are great but if he's getting injured every year and can't help the team make the playoffs and during the playoffs it's not going to matter.

 

His injury last year was caused by a foul ball to the chin.Nothing to do with his weight, unless it was the higher mass that attracted that foul ball.

    • wagwan, frightwig and Broker like this
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TheLeviathan
Feb 20 2018 12:36 PM

Just take the emphasis on the number associated with his weight.Miguel Sano will always have a "heavy" number.

 

Focus on being in shape, healthy all year, and contributing.If his weight interferes with those we should be concerned, but not with whatever number he may be at.

    • wagwan, diehardtwinsfan, frightwig and 2 others like this
It wouldn't be spring training if there wasn't a "Sano needs to lose weight" article written.

Plus, isn't it hard to work out and train when you're recovering from a stress fracture?

I'll never understand fans ripping on Sano.
    • wagwan, Mike Sixel, gunnarthor and 8 others like this
It was inevitable he move off third at some point. He was decent there last year. His injury was not caused by weight. This does remind me of the hrbek talk, but with a lot more accusations of laziness or him not respecting the team than hrbek got... It would be greater if he was in elite shape, but this is still an elite hitter we are discussing
    • glunn, wagwan, frightwig and 6 others like this

 

All it matters: 

Sano's MLB career line: 359 wOBA, 124 wRC+

and that's with him battling injuries and he still is a few season's off his prime.

 

Mauer's career line:.361 wOBA, 124 wRC+

 

Eeriliy similar, yet the same people who seemingly want to crucify Sano based on his genetics want to send Mauer to Cooperstown.

 

Sano is already answering his critics with really long fly balls at Fort Myers.I hope he continues throughout the season, overweight or not.

 

Babe Ruth should be happy that the BMI police was not around then...

"Based on his genetics".So he shouldn't try to do anything about his weight, just make excuses that because of his genes, he is predisposed to being overweight and the Twins should just live with it?Also, your stat comparison fails to take into account that Joe produced the bulk of those numbers playing CATCHER, a physically demanding, and extremely important defensive position. You also point out in Sano's line that he's battled injuries and still has a few seasons left of his prime.You should also then point out that Joe's numbers include several years of the decline side of his career and years in which he, too, battled injuries.  

 

One of the main takeaways from the article should be that Sano's value is significantly lower if he is no longer able to play in the field because he's too slow and fat.That's something he does have at least some control over.  

    • spanman2, Taildragger8791, jimmer and 1 other like this

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