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Article: Twins 2019 Position Analysis: Third Base

miguel sano marwin gonzalez
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#21 Twodogs

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 01:32 PM

Sano prob needs to sit down and study what the pitchers are trying to do to him. I think this cut on his foot is overblown. It's a cut, they don't want it to get infected so they are keeping him out until it's healed? I'm hoping he has a good season!

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#22 RatherBeGolfing

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 01:37 PM

 

Sadly the rest of the league is flush with MVP caliber 3B... I'm not sure Sano even cracks the top 10 best in MLB with an improved season.

 

And if they don't, they sign best SS/2B available and just move them to 3B


#23 SomeGuy

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 02:40 PM

We have enough good SS prospects where 3B shouldn't be too much of an issue in terms of minor league depth.If Sano isn't the answer long term we should be able to convert one of them into a decent 3B. 

 

Luke Raley gets good reviews at 1B and outfield maybe he could handle 3rd. He is also praised for his arm strength.Sano and Gonzalez aren't setting the bar very high for a defensive 3B anyway, both are below average.


#24 SomeGuy

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 02:55 PM

 

It actually is necessary because part of the story here is that we can't pin Sano's deteriorating plate discipline entirely on his injury. In 2017, from June 1st until he suffered his leg injury, he had a 7% (non-intentional) BB rate in 65 games. When he was a rookie two years earlier, that figure stood at 16%. Last year with the Twins his walk rate was slightly better, at 10%, but his K-rate was also way up because he was still chasing everything. 

 

Patience is a vital aspect of Sano's game that had gone amiss before he hurt his leg. I think it's fair to say his demotion to the minors was about improving pitch recognition as well as working on his conditioning. 

His 15.8% BB rate in his rookie season is easily his highest.The next season it dropped to 10.9% which is very similar to the 10.4 he posted last season.Seems like that rookie season was the anomaly.That 15.8% is actually higher than the 13% he was posting in AA from 2013 to 2015.

 

2015 15.8%

2016 10.9

2017 11.2

2018 10.4

 

Strike out rates didn't drastically increase either. Less than 3% increase after a major injury isn't that surprising.

2015 35.5%

2016 36.0%

2017 35.8

2018 38.5

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#25 Dr. Beanpole

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 02:57 PM

Yeah the 3B depth is likely entirely a non-issue as it'll get filled by whichever SS prospect is hitting well and needs a spot to play. Gordon could definitely move to 3B and probably be terrific at it. This is exactly why too many SS is not a bad thing. They'll find places to play if their bat needs to be in the lineup.


#26 TheLeviathan

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 05:08 PM

 

His 15.8% BB rate in his rookie season is easily his highest.The next season it dropped to 10.9% which is very similar to the 10.4 he posted last season.Seems like that rookie season was the anomaly.That 15.8% is actually higher than the 13% he was posting in AA from 2013 to 2015.

 

2015 15.8%

2016 10.9

2017 11.2

2018 10.4

 

Strike out rates didn't drastically increase either. Less than 3% increase after a major injury isn't that surprising.

2015 35.5%

2016 36.0%

2017 35.8

2018 38.5

 

Great post, while I agree that he was partially down to work on pitch recognition, there is definitely a glass half-full slant on Sano's concerns.

 

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess the exact opposite slant from Nick when it's Buxtons turn, with similar issues to face.


#27 Thrylos

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 05:17 PM

I cannot wait for Sano to have a .280/.350/.550, 40 HR, 125 RBI season...

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#28 DiscGolfer

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 06:02 PM

I could see Sano starting the season on the IL opening the door for Astudillo to make the opening roster.

 

As for depth at 3rd could we see one of our OF prospects do the reverse Cuddyer and move to 3rd.


#29 Nick Nelson

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 06:23 PM

 

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess the exact opposite slant from Nick when it's Buxtons turn, with similar issues to face.

Buxton can be valuable without raking so they're fundamentally different scenarios.

 

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#30 Nick Nelson

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 06:29 PM

 

His 15.8% BB rate in his rookie season is easily his highest.The next season it dropped to 10.9% which is very similar to the 10.4 he posted last season.Seems like that rookie season was the anomaly.That 15.8% is actually higher than the 13% he was posting in AA from 2013 to 2015.

 

2015 15.8%

2016 10.9

2017 11.2

2018 10.4

 

Strike out rates didn't drastically increase either. Less than 3% increase after a major injury isn't that surprising.

2015 35.5%

2016 36.0%

2017 35.8

2018 38.5

We've all staked our perception of his upside on that rookie showing. Since then Sano has a .787 OPS in 300 games which isn't anywhere near star-level for a so-so defensive third baseman. (He had a 12.7% BB-rate at the 2017 All-Star break fwiw.) 

 

When he isn't drawing walks, it not only hurts his OBP ceiling but is also emblematic of deeper issues that suppress his production.

 

Also, I'm not sure you can downplay a 3% increase in K-rate for someone who is already living at the absolute highest extreme of all major-league hitters throughout history.


#31 ashbury

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 06:32 PM

Buxton can be valuable without hitting so they're fundamentally different scenarios.

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#32 Thrylos

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 06:34 PM

 

I could see Sano starting the season on the IL

 

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#33 ashbury

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 06:38 PM

Wrong sport.

Major League Baseball to rename disabled list as 'injured list'

ICYMI.

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#34 TheLeviathan

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 08:05 PM

 

Buxton can be valuable without raking so they're fundamentally different scenarios.

 

 

I look forward to Byron Buxton,.600 OPS CFer, racking up WAR for us I suppose.World Series of WAR here we come!

 

I would just prefer if your analysis on their offensive performances was more consistent.It's like watching someone taste test two glasses of the same pop and calling it Pepsi once and Whiskey the second time.  

 

We need significant offensive improvement from both players.And there are plenty of concerns and hopes to go around depending on what you cherry pick.I hope more analysis here weighs those pros and cons without the cherry picking or personal feelings is all.

 

Edited by TheLeviathan, 04 March 2019 - 08:05 PM.


#35 nater79a

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 09:26 PM

 

They're all in the same mix. Cabbage made zero starts at third last year, Blankenhorn played more 2B than 3B, and Bechtold reeeally struggled to hit. I listed Mack mainly because he's the shiny new object. But the three you mentioned are all parts of the reason depth at this position is so shaky at present. 

 

I still have high hopes for Andrew Bechtold.Had a really solid season at E-Town in 2017. True, he had an off year at the dish for the Kernels last year but he did start picking it up in the second half somewhat after an ice cold start. Also, he has a rocket for an arm.

 

Believe that Cody had him pegged as one of his "breakout players" for '19 in the Twins Prospect Handbook.I tend to agree.  

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#36 railmarshalljon

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 10:11 PM

If y'all plan on putting Marwin Gonzalez as the likely backup for all positions know that I respect the hustle.

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#37 Nick Nelson

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 10:18 PM

 

I look forward to Byron Buxton,.600 OPS CFer, racking up WAR for us I suppose.World Series of WAR here we come!

 

I would just prefer if your analysis on their offensive performances was more consistent.It's like watching someone taste test two glasses of the same pop and calling it Pepsi once and Whiskey the second time. 

Byron Buxton, when healthy (as he clearly is now), is the best defensive player and fastest runner in Major League Baseball. You can make wisecracks about WAR all you want but there is real & substantial value to robbing extra-base hits routinely, and stealing bases at a 90% rate, that vastly overshadows anything Sano does outside of the batter's box.

 

One is held to a much higher offensive standard and so it's a much greater focus in the analysis. Treating their comparison as a taste-test of the same pop is the disconnect here. They're very different people and situations. 

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#38 TheLeviathan

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Posted 05 March 2019 - 07:33 AM

 

One is held to a much higher offensive standard and so it's a much greater focus in the analysis. Treating their comparison as a taste-test of the same pop is the disconnect here. They're very different people and situations. 

 

It's not about focus, it's about how the numbers are interpreted.You called Byron Buxton's 2018 minor league stint with terms like "tearing it up" and then described Sano as "struggling".Which isn't born out by the numbers at all.(Especially if you want to look at strikeouts, because Buxton struck out at a higher rate than Sano did!)

 

You have a personal perspective of optimism about Buxton and more skepticism about Sano.That's ok to say.But the analysis of their flaws/strengths need not involve that and it is clearly coloring this particular article.  


#39 Doctor Wu

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Posted 05 March 2019 - 08:13 AM

Bring back Nick Punto! Sorry, I couldn't resist. Seriously though, I hope Sano is healthy and ready for a full, productive season. And I think that will happen. But if all else fails I'm confident enough with a mix of Gonzalez, Adrianza, and/or Astudillo being able to handle the hot corner.


#40 SomeGuy

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Posted 05 March 2019 - 09:41 AM

 

We've all staked our perception of his upside on that rookie showing. Since then Sano has a .787 OPS in 300 games which isn't anywhere near star-level for a so-so defensive third baseman. (He had a 12.7% BB-rate at the 2017 All-Star break fwiw.) 

 

When he isn't drawing walks, it not only hurts his OBP ceiling but is also emblematic of deeper issues that suppress his production.

 

Also, I'm not sure you can downplay a 3% increase in K-rate for someone who is already living at the absolute highest extreme of all major-league hitters throughout history.

I'm arguing the 2.8%increase in K% is injury related and not lack of focus or declining trend.It is fair to expect an increase after the time he missed.Just because your already prone to strike outs doesn't mean you aren't going to have even more trouble after a major injury.Your "June 1st 2017 until he got injured"BB% theory was mostly a terrible July of 5.6%, June and August were close to his 2016-2018 average.He is not the first player to have a bad month.Ups and Downs can be expected for young players. So when he puts together an 18.6 BB% for the month of April 2017, that is not the real Sano.Just like a 5.6% in July 2017 is not the real Sano.(The 2017 BB% trend of a good start and poor June/July was almost identical to his 2016 trend FYI)

 

Staking your perception on a half season of his rookie year isn't the best approach.Especially when he was out performing his AA BB% and on base%.

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