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Is It Time to Start Worrying About Sano?

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#41 Old Twins Cap

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Posted 12 April 2018 - 09:51 PM

Well, I'd rather have Sano on my team than having to play against him.

 

Not sure that helps, but, I do watch a lot of baseball.

 

Something about brute force, raw power and nostrils.

 

And, he wants to win.

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#42 TheLeviathan

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Posted 12 April 2018 - 09:55 PM

 

I think you're arguing past each other a bit.

 

- An .850 OPS without capable defense (which I'm not ready to write off with Sano) is not very, very good. That's a good 2-4 WAR player.

 

- Predicting, in any way, that a 24 year old player with a career .848 OPS will not improve in any extent is taking a pretty negative view of said player.

 

Eh, WAR.A 124 wRC+ tells me a lot more about him.Does he need to cut down on Ks?Sure.Does he need to stay healthy?Sure.

 

He's not a perfect player, but I'm not aware of many of them not named "Trout".  


#43 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 12 April 2018 - 10:03 PM

 

I think the Ks have to come down for him to make any significant improvement.

And i grow slowly less hopeful for that with each passing month.

It's you early to make any definitive statements about this year. But that includes saying he's got a .900 OPS, so there's nothing to be concerned about, or laughing off those who have concerns.

Well, there are concerns (Morrison) and then there are "concerns" (Sano). One is coming off a possible (likely?) career year and the other is a young player who has shown he's capable of being an extremely good hitter but you're concerned that his age 22-24 seasons are his career baseline because of the K rate.

 

Any way you shake it, calling Sano a career .850 OPS guy just because he K's 35% of the time is a bit misleading.

 

First, he hasn't even turned 25 yet.

 

Second, he's been injured several times in his career, which has dragged down his numbers.

 

Third, that career .850 OPS includes his miserable sophomore season, which he bookended with better seasons.

 

Fourth, he's hitting the ball a country mile again this season.

 

You can be concerned about Sano but even if he doesn't "improve", he's a damned good player when he's on the field. So what exactly do we expect from this man? You brought up Miggy, which is just as unfair as mentioning Trout in comparison to Buxton. Being a generational player is just that... generational. You don't get five of those guys at the same time.

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#44 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 12 April 2018 - 10:05 PM

 

Eh, WAR.A 124 wRC+ tells me a lot more about him.Does he need to cut down on Ks?Sure.Does he need to stay healthy?Sure.

 

He's not a perfect player, but I'm not aware of many of them not named "Trout".  

True, my point is that Sano's defense is not something that elevates him. At best, it keeps him level. Most likely, his defense drags his status down a bit.


#45 drivlikejehu

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Posted 12 April 2018 - 10:26 PM

I was never counting on Sano to be a Hall of Fame player, so I don't see why I should be worried that he's not currently looking like said Hall of Fame player. Having unrealistic expectations is a great way to get disappointed, because by definition players will generally not meet those unrealistic expectations.

 

Having said that, I expect a pretty big year from him. Pitchers so far are throwing him far fewer strikes than in the past and have been getting him to chase a lot, but I think he's very capable of making the necessary adjustments. 

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#46 Rosterman

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 12:07 AM

He will learn NOT to chase certain pitches. Until then, pitchers will throw them low and inside to him.

 

I think we have to worry about conditioning more.

 

The bigger question, do you TRADE him before free agency happens or after he has a dynamite year.

 

Can you afford to trade him.

 

Not sure if he will be Ortiz...getting whatever the going rate is for a contract to be DH until he hits age whatever.

 

Or if the Twins rally need to deal with that.

 

Invest in the Future. (1) Berrios. (2) Buxton (3) Kepler (4) Sano (5) Rosario. Then we start thinking about Romero, Gordon, Rooker, Lewis, Kirilloff and the rest of the youngsters!

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#47 h2oface

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 12:33 AM

I don't see why expectations are a bad thing. At the beginning of each year, all fans have a hope/expectation that their favorite team will outperform all expectations, make the playoffs, and win a World Series. Sometimes, it happens! (1987 and 1991). Some players come with great expectations. Sano is one of them. So is Buxton. Large bonuses, or high draft picks and hype, are part of the territory, and rightfully so. To watch Sano strike out 40 to 50% of the time is disappointing, regardless of a statistic one favors to convince themselves that the strikeouts don't matter. Strikeouts always matter. I love homegrown players. I love to see them stay with the team for their career. I really don't care for the tourists that pass through. I hope that Sano really does figure it out. He can hit as many homers with a less massive swing, and become a more complete hitter, if he tries to, one would hope, and with his talent, it is just a matter of work and focus. I expect a player, with his talent, to keep refining his talent with work. Michael Jordan not only had talent, but he put in the extra work. That is not unique to the greats. One doesn't become great with just talent. There is nothing wrong with, and it is not being a bad fan, to expect the talented ones to keep trying to improve, and expecting them, to improve on their weaknesses, and truly become great. That is, in fact, the romance that attracts me to be a fan.

Edited by h2oface, 13 April 2018 - 12:46 AM.

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#48 killertwinfan

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 04:23 AM

 

Maybe you think the Twins should do a Big Papi to Boston with Sano? I envision Sano as a similar player as Ortiz. How'd that work out?

Right now, I'd be more worried about Morrison being a bust.

Don't worry we have Vargas lurking in Rochester.:jump: Actually he is starting to hit the ball. For some reason the shifts have really got to him. He'll settle down but I have braced myself for about half of his 2017 production. :banghead:


#49 USAFChief

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 05:18 AM

 

Well, there are concerns (Morrison) and then there are "concerns" (Sano). One is coming off a possible (likely?) career year and the other is a young player who has shown he's capable of being an extremely good hitter but you're concerned that his age 22-24 seasons are his career baseline because of the K rate.

 

Any way you shake it, calling Sano a career .850 OPS guy just because he K's 35% of the time is a bit misleading.

 

First, he hasn't even turned 25 yet.

 

Second, he's been injured several times in his career, which has dragged down his numbers.

 

Third, that career .850 OPS includes his miserable sophomore season, which he bookended with better seasons.

 

Fourth, he's hitting the ball a country mile again this season.

 

You can be concerned about Sano but even if he doesn't "improve", he's a damned good player when he's on the field. So what exactly do we expect from this man? You brought up Miggy, which is just as unfair as mentioning Trout in comparison to Buxton. Being a generational player is just that... generational. You don't get five of those guys at the same time.

What does age have to do with it? If anything, age is a point against him by now. Miguel Cabrera's age 24 season was .965, which followed his .998 age 23 season and his .947 age 22 season, all with 600 plus PAs.

 

The point is...He's going to have to cut down the K's, or he's unlikely to ever be consistently better than the .850 guy he currently is. It's almost impossible. If you're good with that, fine. That wasn't what I hoped for. 

 

Second, injuries have certainly kept him off the field...but again, that's a factor against him, not for him. Or at best, a "concern."

 

Third, of course it includes all his playing time...as will his OPS going forward. Which, IMO, isn't likely to get much better if he continues to pile up Ks at record rates.

 

Fourth...if he can maintain a .590 SLG, with this little contact, I'll be less concerned. But he won't.

 

And fifth...what does Morrison have to do with any of this?

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#50 Sssuperdave

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 05:30 AM

I'm going to attempt to make a nuanced comment here...

 

Sano is obviously a gifted hitter and his OPS makes that clear. To argue that he's not valuable is foolish, and the Morrison comparisons are ridiculous.

 

However, it's also foolish to completely ignore his strikeout rates. So far he's at a 36.2 K% for his career, which over a 600PA season would be 217 Ks. Not the most in MLB history (223) but very close. This year his K rate is 48.9%. How can you not be at least a little concerned by that? 

 

Strikeouts stink - nothing good happens with a strikeout. When there is a runner on 3rd and less than 2 out a fly out or well placed ground-out can score a run where a strikeout can't. But, just how big a deal is that? 

 

I spent some time perusing Baseball reference to try to find out, and stumbled on just the statistic I was looking for... it's called "productive outs", defined as getting out while advancing any runner with none out or driving in a run with one out. According to BRef, Sano has had 114 "opportunities" for a productive out over his career, and has converted 26 times, for a 23% success rate, a good bit lower than the 29% league average "productive out percentage" over that time. On the other extreme, Mauer has a 42% success rate creating productive outs, 256 for 608 over his career.

 

I really have no idea how much to penalize Sano's awesomeness due to his 23% productive out percentage, but it should at least be acknowledged. It doesn't drop him to Morrison-level, but it makes his .846 OPS at least a little less shiny.

Edited by Sssuperdave, 13 April 2018 - 05:35 AM.

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#51 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 05:54 AM

 

I don't think ,250/.350/.500, with too many Ks to drive in a bunch of runs, is "really, really good."

Coupled with defensive questions, that's absolutely not "really, really good."

And yeah, I was hoping for "really, really good."

 

This is where I fall I think. Sano is a victim right now of having high expectations and clearly not hitting them. His defense has not been good, and I do think as the season warms up that he'll get better there, but he's definitely put the team in a bind with errors so far this year.

 

His hitting is fine... when he makes contact. And he's not making nearly enough of that. Buxton, in my opinion, is in the same boat there. Both of those guys need to do a better job taking pitches they cannot hit... and if they don't figure that one out, all those high expectations we have had (and they have of themselves) will never be met.

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#52 Platoon

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 06:13 AM

Baseball statistics are like any other statistic, there's one for everybody. There are good arguments on both sides. The side that says Sano should be playing,and is a good player are correct. The side that says he isn't what he could be, on both sides of the ball have a point. He is a remarkable athlete for his size. While that's not damning praise, it's a fact. Last night he had his third error, which is a pace for around 45 this year. He looks still like what I saw in Beloit. Lacks focus on the easy plays, makes the great ones. And if he can't play third , his value is reduced considerably. And as an aside, you take that, and add in EE very average defense, and it's a weak side of the IF. Offensively I am in the camp that did expect him to be a generational hitter with power. The power is there, it makes the stats look good, but if I am a pitcher, needing to prevent a productive out, he would be far from my greatest concern on this team. As to the personality issue? I haven't saw a lot to convince me he understands how important conditioning will be to his future. He may some day, he may never. Right now he is a great athlete getting by on talent. Nor do I see full seasons of games from him from a physical standpoint. Whether he can play, especially hit well enough to be a plus player is not in doubt. Whether he will get to be the player that his talent level would allow, is another question.
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#53 bighat

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 07:19 AM

Interesting discussion on Sano here. As I've got the guy on my fantasy team (I know, I know), and watch the Twins every day, I've followed just about every at bat.

 

I think we're all frustrated, just in different ways. I think during the lean years, we were all desperate for that next superstar. We looked at Sano and Buxton, and we thought we'd won the lottery: Miggy Cabrera and Mike Trout were both coming to Minnesota! Our expectations were through the roof, likely because we'd been suffering for so long.

 

I think Buxton's rather slow development has put our focus back on Sano. With Buxton looking more and more like Carl Crawford than Mike Trout (still nothing to sneeze at), we're looking at Sano to live up to his hype. And unfortunately, this is where our high expectations hurt our perception of a guy who is a very, very good player.

 

Sano is striking out way way way too much right now. He's in full Rob Deer mode, all or nothing. But remember when Sano went 4-4 last year with 4 singles, all of them hit the other way? He CAN hit for average, and I think that if the Twins hitting coaches start trying to get him to sprinkle in a few singles we'll see a much more reliable hitter in the 3-spot. He'll get there, he's done it before, and like others have said, he's just 24 years old!

 

Regardless of how disappointed you are in Sano, he's a dangerous hitter and he provides a force in the lineup. His power threat means that Mauer and Dozier are seeing pitches to hit, and you can see how great that's worked out so far. 29 other clubs would kill to have this guy in their roster.

 

I'm just as frustrated as the next guy regarding the strikeouts. Every time I see Sano go to far on a check-swing on a ball outside in the dirt I get ticked off, same as you. But if you step back and really look at what he brings to this team offensively, you shouldn't be worried at all. We should all be grateful we've got him on this roster and he's one of the reasons the Twins might just win the division this year!

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#54 gunnarthor

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 07:30 AM

Sano will be fine. He's a hitting savant. If he can stay healthy, he has the ability to hit .280, take a walk and potentially lead the league in home runs. 

 

He does need to cut the strike outs a bit but he can do that, just like Rosario has done. Sano hits the ball so hard his babip is incredibly high - .365 for his career. He's not going to strike out 40% of the time. I don't know enough about plate discipline stats but from the games I've seen, he's been rung up a few times by the umps on pitches down and away that statcast doesn't think are strikes. I'm not sure if that's just a few observations that I've seen that don't mean much of if umpires are trying to send a message to the young kid or somewhere in between but he'll figure it out.

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#55 prouster

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 07:35 AM

Sano will be fine. He's a hitting savant. If he can stay healthy, he has the ability to hit .280, take a walk and potentially lead the league in home runs.

He does need to cut the strike outs a bit but he can do that, just like Rosario has done. Sano hits the ball so hard his babip is incredibly high - .365 for his career. He's not going to strike out 40% of the time. I don't know enough about plate discipline stats but from the games I've seen, he's been rung up a few times by the umps on pitches down and away that statcast doesn't think are strikes. I'm not sure if that's just a few observations that I've seen that don't mean much of if umpires are trying to send a message to the young kid or somewhere in between but he'll figure it out.

I agree. A few times that he's been caught looking the ball has been several inches off the plate. Probably not enough to meaningfully budge his K%, but I wonder if he's been expanding the zone as a result.

Edited by prouster, 13 April 2018 - 07:35 AM.


#56 Dantes929

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 07:52 AM

I never expected him to be anything but what he is. Never even dreamed of him being a Miquel Cabrera type.Back when he was the #2 prospect I suggested trying to trade him for any of the shortstops that were top 10 prospects. I expect him to be somewhere around the Morneau Hrbek category which would be great. Twins HOF type rather than baseball HOF.Then again 24 years old and 11 games into a season where he has struck out a lot but also directly helped win a few games. Too early to define the guy.Same as Buxton.

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#57 Number3

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 08:23 AM

I like Sano in spite of the Ks because every team needs a "presence" in the lineup and I think he makes everyone else a little better. Sano himself can only get better. I just hope he stays healthy. He might have a titanium rod in 1 leg but there is still a lot of stress on everything else. Supposedly his leg injury was caused by fouling off pitches and I hope that was the case.


#58 lukeduke1980

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 08:24 AM

I had some similar concerns but my conclusion was to question if he should be moved down in the batting order(?)Like 5th.I'm not sure if that really makes any difference or whom would hit third.


#59 kab21

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 08:39 AM

Worried?

I am pleasantly surprised that Sano is hitting the ball at all and playing a passable 3B. He had an absolutely awful offseason with surgery and some very serious allegations.

 

He certainly still has things to work on (just to be a lowly .850+ OPS player) and there are concerns (the K's and the weight) but the first 11 games haven't increased my concerns at all.

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#60 nicksaviking

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 08:39 AM

 

 He is showing no indication that he understands that he has a lot of improving to do. 

 

Is that something that would be apparent to fans?

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