Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email
Photo

Baseball Prospectus ranks 3rd basemen defensively

  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#1 Doubles

Doubles

    Cedar Rapids

  • Members
  • 200 posts

Posted 11 September 2017 - 02:21 PM

Caught this over the weekend.  Sano was ranked 15th out of 30 MLB starting 3rd basemen.  

 

15. "Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins — There’s no way this is true a year from now. I would not be surprised at all if, a year from now, Sano is a designated hitter, and we all remember with a fond chuckle how that guy who weighs roughly what J.J. Watt does actually manned the hot corner for a season or so. Until his recent lower leg injury, though, Sano was surprising me about once a week by making a play he would not have made in the past, and that a man his size had no business making.

 

Like Mike Moustakas (ranked 21st, in Part 1), he plays fairly deep, and like Moustakas, he sometimes uses his exceptional arm to make up for imperfect footwork or the extra half-second it takes to secure a topspin one-hopper when one stands 6-foot-4. Unlike Moustakas, his athleticism is far better than one would expect, given his size, and so his range is a bit better, and he can make diving or off-balance plays more cleanly. He used to set up in a pretty awkward half-crouch, his feet staggered, really making it hard to move laterally and limiting his range to a step and a dive. He’s amended those habits, and is finding success by playing third base as if he were a smaller guy."

 

Interesting commentary...

  • Mike Sixel, Mike Frasier Law, Oldgoat_MN and 2 others like this

#2 notoriousgod71

notoriousgod71

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,978 posts

Posted 11 September 2017 - 03:38 PM

I think that's a fair rating at this time, but I actually think he could improve at third base next season. He was infinitely better this year than last at the hot corner.

  • ChiTownTwinsFan, ashburyjohn, Thrylos and 4 others like this

#3 yarnivek1972

yarnivek1972

    Rochester Red Wings

  • Members
  • 2,230 posts

Posted 11 September 2017 - 03:56 PM

Whether it's about weight or some other issues, it's concerning to me that Sano has started just 79 games at third this year. The prevailing wisdom is that he will likely be limited to DH when he does come back this year. That means he will have started less than half the Twins' games at third.
  • USAFChief and ken like this

#4 drjim

drjim

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 7,790 posts
  • LocationSt. Paul

Posted 11 September 2017 - 06:53 PM

Whether it's about weight or some other issues, it's concerning to me that Sano has started just 79 games at third this year. The prevailing wisdom is that he will likely be limited to DH when he does come back this year. That means he will have started less than half the Twins' games at third.


Definite cause for concern. And no reason to be especially optimistic it will improve dramatically going forward.
Papers...business papers.

#5 diehardtwinsfan

diehardtwinsfan

    Twins Moderator

  • Twins Mods
  • 10,926 posts
  • LocationThe charred ruins of BYTO

Posted 12 September 2017 - 09:57 AM

at 15, doesn't that make him average (or slightly above depending on how many 3B made the mark)? I'm not getting the "move him to DH" crowd... not yet at least.

  • Shane Wahl, brvama, ericchri and 5 others like this

#6 snap4birds

snap4birds

    Elizabethton

  • Members
  • 23 posts

Posted 12 September 2017 - 10:43 AM

 

Caught this over the weekend.  Sano was ranked 15th out of 30 MLB starting 3rd basemen.  

 

15. "Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins — There’s no way this is true a year from now. I would not be surprised at all if, a year from now, Sano is a designated hitter, and we all remember with a fond chuckle how that guy who weighs roughly what J.J. Watt does actually manned the hot corner for a season or so. Until his recent lower leg injury, though, Sano was surprising me about once a week by making a play he would not have made in the past, and that a man his size had no business making.

 

 

SABR has him at #23 (if I counted right, they have NL & AL on separate pages) at -5.6 DRS.  Disclaimer:  I have no idea if one is more right than the other or if he will be a DH next year.  Even if he is 23rd, with the way he hits I'd say that is acceptable, if he prefers to play 3rd over DH, I'd keep running him out there.

http://sabr.org/sdi/2017-08-27#AL3B

  • beckmt likes this

#7 stringer bell

stringer bell

    WAR? What is it good for?

  • Twins Mods
  • 7,852 posts
  • LocationZumbrota MN

Posted 12 September 2017 - 03:26 PM

 

SABR has him at #23 (if I counted right, they have NL & AL on separate pages) at -5.6 DRS.  Disclaimer:  I have no idea if one is more right than the other or if he will be a DH next year.  Even if he is 23rd, with the way he hits I'd say that is acceptable, if he prefers to play 3rd over DH, I'd keep running him out there.

http://sabr.org/sdi/2017-08-27#AL3B

You mean Bremer and the color guy of the day were a bit off in uttering "gold glove" when Sano made a nice play. I think Sano has been surprisingly good this year at third, but the fact that he again hasn't been able to stay on the field is starting to concern me.

  • adorduan and ken like this

#8 Thrylos

Thrylos

    They Finally fired ’em. Play Ball!

  • Members
  • 8,504 posts
  • LocationLehigh Valley, PA, USA
  • Twitter: thrylos98

Posted 12 September 2017 - 03:29 PM

If this enlightened author thinks that Sano should be a DH next year, I'd love to hear what he thinks the 15 third basemen ranked below him should be?

 

Here is a link to the article

Matthew Trueblood is the author.

Edited by Thrylos, 12 September 2017 - 03:33 PM.

  • h2oface and Danchat like this
-----
Blogging Twins since 2007 at The Tenth Inning Stretch
http://tenthinningst...h.blogspot.com/
twitter: @thrylos98

#9 Doubles

Doubles

    Cedar Rapids

  • Members
  • 200 posts

Posted 12 September 2017 - 03:34 PM

 

Caught this over the weekend.  Sano was ranked 15th out of 30 MLB starting 3rd basemen.  

 

15. "Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins — There’s no way this is true a year from now. I would not be surprised at all if, a year from now, Sano is a designated hitter, and we all remember with a fond chuckle how that guy who weighs roughly what J.J. Watt does actually manned the hot corner for a season or so. Until his recent lower leg injury, though, Sano was surprising me about once a week by making a play he would not have made in the past, and that a man his size had no business making.

 

Like Mike Moustakas (ranked 21st, in Part 1), he plays fairly deep, and like Moustakas, he sometimes uses his exceptional arm to make up for imperfect footwork or the extra half-second it takes to secure a topspin one-hopper when one stands 6-foot-4. Unlike Moustakas, his athleticism is far better than one would expect, given his size, and so his range is a bit better, and he can make diving or off-balance plays more cleanly. He used to set up in a pretty awkward half-crouch, his feet staggered, really making it hard to move laterally and limiting his range to a step and a dive. He’s amended those habits, and is finding success by playing third base as if he were a smaller guy."

 

Interesting commentary...

 

How is this any less 'weight-shaming' than the Strib column that was met with so much scorn?

  • USAFChief likes this

#10 drjim

drjim

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 7,790 posts
  • LocationSt. Paul

Posted 12 September 2017 - 03:54 PM

How is this any less 'weight-shaming' than the Strib column that was met with so much scorn?


Because it was written by BP.
  • USAFChief and Doubles like this
Papers...business papers.

#11 Brock Beauchamp

Brock Beauchamp

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 18,457 posts

Posted 12 September 2017 - 10:02 PM

 

at 15, doesn't that make him average (or slightly above depending on how many 3B made the mark)? I'm not getting the "move him to DH" crowd... not yet at least.

Yeah, exactly. He's holding his own. Maybe that will cause injury issues but is this really a complaint in 2017? The guy fouled a ball off his shin and injured himself. That's not exactly an indictment of Sano's ability to play the field.

  • h2oface likes this

#12 Brock Beauchamp

Brock Beauchamp

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 18,457 posts

Posted 12 September 2017 - 10:05 PM

How is this any less 'weight-shaming' than the Strib column that was met with so much scorn?

Do they mention that Sano should lose weight or that he should weigh any less than he does now?
 
There's a difference between "he's a big guy, but surprisingly athletic" and "he's a big guy, he should lose some weight or he's going to die of a coronary at age 31 and maybe kill every postseason chance the Twins have for the next decade".*
 
*paraphrased but pretty spot-on with intent
 
Weight shaming is not acknowledging the size of a human being, it's literally SHAMING them because of it. Not a difficult difference to spot.
  • ChiTownTwinsFan, snepp and Sconnie like this

#13 Linus

Linus

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,852 posts

Posted 12 September 2017 - 10:13 PM

He's a pro athlete. His level of physical fitness is going to be discussed. I don't understand why people get all offended when somebody notices that Sano is over an optimal playing weight. Nobody insinuated he's a bad guy or lousy ballplayer just that if he were at an optimal weight it would benefit his play. I don't think these are radical ideas here.
  • adorduan and jimmer like this

#14 Brock Beauchamp

Brock Beauchamp

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 18,457 posts

Posted 12 September 2017 - 10:32 PM

 

He's a pro athlete. His level of physical fitness is going to be discussed. I don't understand why people get all offended when somebody notices that Sano is over an optimal playing weight. Nobody insinuated he's a bad guy or lousy ballplayer just that if he were at an optimal weight it would benefit his play. I don't think these are radical ideas here.

First, would it actually benefit his play?

 

Second, why was that piece written after Sano took a foul ball off his shin and was injured? Why wasn't it written when he had an OPS over .900 and was helping the Twins stay in contention?

 

Maybe Sano should lose a few pounds. Maybe he can't because that's what his body says it should be. Applying "conventional wisdom" to athlete weight is a lazy argument. Or maybe we should still see 180 lb pitchers and 210 lb linebackers.

  • ChiTownTwinsFan and dbminn like this

#15 ThejacKmp

ThejacKmp

    Wing Commander

  • Members
  • 1,343 posts

Posted 12 September 2017 - 11:32 PM

 

Whether it's about weight or some other issues, it's concerning to me that Sano has started just 79 games at third this year. The prevailing wisdom is that he will likely be limited to DH when he does come back this year. That means he will have started less than half the Twins' games at third.

 

Definite cause for concern. And no reason to be especially optimistic it will improve dramatically going forward.

 

I don't know, I feel like this is a bit dishonest with the numbers. Miguel Sano has started 79 games and played in 82 games at 3B. That sounds low until you look at the fact that he's only played in 108 games (21 starts at DH and 8 at 1B). That means he's played at 3B in over 75% of the games he has played in thus far. That's pretty phenomenal considering the Twins bench is heavy on guys whose value comes from IF defense and light on strapping hitters consigned to 1B and DH. He's far surpassed any reasonable expectations this year and should absolutely be at 3B. I have no concerns he's only played 3B in 82 games.

 

The small number of games mainly has to do with injuries. His two most recent and biggest injuries have both had nothing to do with playing the field. They both happened at the plate - he was hit in the hand by a pitch and he hit a ball off his shin. Neither has anything to do with 3B and unless we want him to not bat, I think we should treat them as flukes that can't be avoided.

 

Picking one number and making bold assertions without examining the larger context is pretty disingenuous. That number is not a cause for concern at all. 75% of games at 3B is phenomenal considering what we thought of his chances coming in. Nothing but optimism for Sano, our beloved third baseman of the near and perhaps distant future.

Edited by ThejacKmp, 12 September 2017 - 11:35 PM.


#16 Linus

Linus

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,852 posts

Posted 13 September 2017 - 02:29 AM

First, would it actually benefit his play?

Second, why was that piece written after Sano took a foul ball off his shin and was injured? Why wasn't it written when he had an OPS over .900 and was helping the Twins stay in contention?

Maybe Sano should lose a few pounds. Maybe he can't because that's what his body says it should be. Applying "conventional wisdom" to athlete weight is a lazy argument. Or maybe we should still see 180 lb pitchers and 210 lb linebackers.


It probably would. You'll notice I didn't refer to the article at all because I didn't even read it at the time. That's how little I pay attention to Souhan.

I don't know what you mean by conventional thinking as I didn't refer to it. I'm merely pointing out that the idea of his physical condition being discussed seems very sensitive around here. It's done all the time in pro sports.
  • adorduan likes this

#17 Doubles

Doubles

    Cedar Rapids

  • Members
  • 200 posts

Posted 13 September 2017 - 09:34 AM

 

Do they mention that Sano should lose weight or that he should weigh any less than he does now?
 
There's a difference between "he's a big guy, but surprisingly athletic" and "he's a big guy, he should lose some weight or he's going to die of a coronary at age 31 and maybe kill every postseason chance the Twins have for the next decade".*
 
*paraphrased but pretty spot-on with intent
 
Weight shaming is not acknowledging the size of a human being, it's literally SHAMING them because of it. Not a difficult difference to spot.

The Strib column mentions Sano adds value by playing third base, due to his skill & agility, presumably over first base or DH'ing.  Can that even be disputed?

 

The BP column alludes to Sano moving to DH as soon as next year.  Why?  Because his size would prohibit him from adequately playing an infield position?

 

To be clear, I wasn't offended in the least by either column.  But I believe people read with bias just as well as they watch and listen.  I would be very surprised if people would have been so offended by the Souhan column had they not known who wrote it.  Fact of the matter is, Sano is heading to full-time DH status the bigger he gets.  And considering how good he can be defensively, moving to DH decreases his value as a player.  

 

 

 

 

  • ken likes this

#18 dbminn

dbminn

    Ft Myers

  • Members
  • 339 posts
  • LocationSaint Paul, MN

Posted 13 September 2017 - 10:03 AM

Sano is a big guy. Charging bunts, scooping them barehanded and rotating the body to make an accurate throw to first would be unexpected at 260 pounds with six-pack abs. He's pretty darn nimble.

 

I think Molitor tried to keep Sano fresh this year while playing to the needs of his team. Sano at DH gave him the chance to put either Escobar or Adrianza on the field, keeping them sharp. Sano at 1B let Mauer rest his weary 34 year-old bilateral legs once in a while. I don't see any reason why he won't start at 3B again next year under a similar scenario.

 

 

Edited by dbminn, 13 September 2017 - 10:05 AM.

  • diehardtwinsfan likes this

#19 Doubles

Doubles

    Cedar Rapids

  • Members
  • 200 posts

Posted 13 September 2017 - 01:38 PM

 

There's a difference between "he's a big guy, but surprisingly athletic" and "he's a big guy, he should lose some weight or he's going to die of a coronary at age 31 and maybe kill every postseason chance the Twins have for the next decade".*
 
*paraphrased but pretty spot-on with intent

 

The above statement probably illustrates the point better than I ever could.  

 

Confusing the message with disdain for the messenger.

 

 


#20 Thrylos

Thrylos

    They Finally fired ’em. Play Ball!

  • Members
  • 8,504 posts
  • LocationLehigh Valley, PA, USA
  • Twitter: thrylos98

Posted 13 September 2017 - 01:40 PM

 

Sano is a big guy. Charging bunts, scooping them barehanded and rotating the body to make an accurate throw to first would be unexpected at 260 pounds with six-pack abs. He's pretty darn nimble.

 

Daunte Culpepper (6-4, 260), Byron Leftwich (6-5, 250), Ben Roethlisberger (6-5, 240), and Jared Lorenzen (6-4, 290, who still holds the record on completions and total yards at Kentucky) beg to disagree.And all of them have to do in with fear of bodily harm (unlike Sano) and nobody can accuse Lorenzen of six-pack abs ;)

  • dbminn likes this
-----
Blogging Twins since 2007 at The Tenth Inning Stretch
http://tenthinningst...h.blogspot.com/
twitter: @thrylos98