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Article: Twins 2019 Position Analysis: Third Base

miguel sano marwin gonzalez
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#41 Nick Nelson

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Posted 05 March 2019 - 11:07 AM

 

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%.

Look, I don't want to get lost in the weeds here but it's not just about BB%. As I said, that stat is symptomatic of larger discipline trends. His plate approach in general has deteriorated drastically since he was a rookie. There are any number of stats that illustrate this — not just his propensity for getting into certain counts, but what he does when he gets there. Glaring weaknesses in the strike zone. Pitcher adjustments that haven't been counteracted.

 

And while it's convenient to brush off last year's struggles as the result of health problems, the convenience fades when you recognize we have no proof those serious, structural problems are behind him. Sano was evidently never healthy last year, and for a second straight season he finished hurt. We still haven't seen him on the field yet this spring to alleviate any such concerns.

 

(Also I'm not sure why Sano's age-22 season in AA has become his baseline/ceiling for patience; his walk rate in the minors was only slightly lower than Joey Votto's. One hopes to see a player of this ilk evolve, not devolve.) 


#42 Nick Nelson

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Posted 05 March 2019 - 11:16 AM

Miguel Sano, month-by-month OPS since his rookie year:

 

April 2016: .745

May 2016: .849

July 2016: .749

August 2016: .754

September 2016: .810

 

April 2017: 1.267

May 2017: .868

June 2017: .761

July 2017: .782

August 2017: .843

 

April 2018: .739

May 2018: .757

June 2018: .468

July 2018: .718

August 2018: .736

 

So in the last 15 months where he's gotten any decent number of MLB at-bats, a player whose value is tied primarily to his bat has produced an OPS over .800 five times, and over .850 twice. I'm not sure how people can be saying his plate approach during that span is not something to worry about. Sano won't be an asset if he doesn't significantly improve his patience. Period.

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#43 TheLeviathan

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Posted 05 March 2019 - 11:37 AM

 

And while it's convenient to brush off last year's struggles as the result of health problems, the convenience fades when you recognize we have no proof those serious, structural problems are behind him. 

 

I'll be eager to see if this particular line stays the same for our other centerpiece player.Because it matches 100% for him as well.

 

Also, no one is saying not to worry about Sano.I'm bullish on him but I'm still worried.Same for Buxton.Same for Kepler.Pointing out that there are positives with Sano is not saying there is nothing to worry about, that's a strawman you're creating.

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#44 Nick Nelson

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Posted 05 March 2019 - 11:56 AM

 

I'll be eager to see if this particular line stays the same for our other centerpiece player.Because it matches 100% for him as well.

No it doesn't! Buxton was healthy at the end of last year! He's healthy now! He's flying all over the outfield and driving the ball everywhere while Sano is hobbling around in a boot because he cut his heel 5 weeks ago and it (rather astoundingly) still hasn't healed. I know you'll want to downplay these things because it's spring training, but we're 3 weeks from Opening Day so it actually does matter.

 

Again, acting like Buxton's and Sano's situations are "100%" similar just completely ignores the realities at play. I promise you that if Sano ended last year hitting well (either in the majors or minors) rather than slumping into another serious/mysterious injury, and/or if he showed up this spring raking like Buxton has, the tone here would be different.

 

You can treat this as my super-subjective opinion if you want but I assure you that most people around the team in Ft. Myers right now are viewing their relative situations similarly.

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#45 TheLeviathan

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Posted 05 March 2019 - 05:45 PM

 

Again, acting like Buxton's and Sano's situations are "100%" similar just completely ignores the realities at play. I promise you that if Sano ended last year hitting well (either in the majors or minors) rather than slumping into another serious/mysterious injury, and/or if he showed up this spring raking like Buxton has, the tone here would be different.

 

You can treat this as my super-subjective opinion if you want but I assure you that most people around the team in Ft. Myers right now are viewing their relative situations similarly.

 

Buxton's spring training performance was brutal last year but you dismissed that (and the equally putrid start to 2018) with injuries. Buxton struck out in one third of his plate appearances in the minors in 2018but yet, he "tore it up" and Sano was bad.(Despite, you know, better numbers).Buxton continues to have similar, reoccurring injury problems.Buxton has had long, crippling stretches of awful hitting.

 

I hope all of those facts are included in that position breakdown as well.I dislike it when someone professes to be analyzing when they are actually doing something more like proselytizing.You are entitled to your opinion that Buxton is more likely to bust out for the Twins.But the amount of Ks he piled up in AAA, the amount of time he missed with injuries, and the putrid start he had last year should be parts of the analysis.I hope they are and it's not all rose-colored glasses and duckies and bunnies.

 

Sano deserved criticism and optimism.Buxton deserves both too.

Edited by TheLeviathan, 05 March 2019 - 05:46 PM.

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#46 Thrylos

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Posted 05 March 2019 - 06:41 PM

 

Miguel Sano, month-by-month OPS since his rookie year:

 

April 2016: .745

May 2016: .849

July 2016: .749

August 2016: .754

September 2016: .810

 

April 2017: 1.267

May 2017: .868

June 2017: .761

July 2017: .782

August 2017: .843

 

April 2018: .739

May 2018: .757

June 2018: .468

July 2018: .718

August 2018: .736

 

So in the last 15 months where he's gotten any decent number of MLB at-bats, a player whose value is tied primarily to his bat has produced an OPS over .800 five times, and over .850 twice. I'm not sure how people can be saying his plate approach during that span is not something to worry about. Sano won't be an asset if he doesn't significantly improve his patience. Period.

 

Let's look at his OPS+ so we can compare with league average (100)

 

April 2016: 107
May 2016: 128
July 2016: 104
August 2016: 99
September 2016: 117

 

April 2017: 208
May 2017: 131
June 2017: 96
July 2017: 106
August 2017: 121

 

April 2018: 103
May 2018: 103
June 2018: 32
July 2018: 95
August 2018: 99

 

In other words, other than a single month (June 2018) in which he had only 40 PAs, in his age 23,24, and 25 seasons, at worst he has been average with the bat, and at best at superstar level.

 

Let's not forget his age 22 149 OPS+ All Star season that for some reason is not mentioned above.

 

Injuries happen.Infections in injuries happen.We should all be rooting for Sano as Twins fans, because he is the single player with Superstar potential with the bat in this squad.I just don't get the grief he gets.

 

Would love a side by side monthly comparison with Kepler's seasons; Not.Even.Close.

 

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#47 Homer Hanky

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 08:12 AM

Great post! 

 

Any interest in signing Plouffe to a minors deal to keep some depth in Sano is a nogo for awhile? 


#48 luckylager

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 08:41 AM

 

Great post! 

 

Any interest in signing Plouffe to a minors deal to keep some depth in Sano is a nogo for awhile? 

 

Zero


#49 yarnivek1972

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 08:43 AM

Let's look at his OPS+ so we can compare with league average (100)

April 2016: 107
May 2016: 128
July 2016: 104
August 2016: 99
September 2016: 117

April 2017: 208
May 2017: 131
June 2017: 96
July 2017: 106
August 2017: 121

April 2018: 103
May 2018: 103
June 2018: 32
July 2018: 95
August 2018: 99

In other words, other than a single month (June 2018) in which he had only 40 PAs, in his age 23,24, and 25 seasons, at worst he has been average with the bat, and at best at superstar level.

Let's not forget his age 22 149 OPS+ All Star season that for some reason is not mentioned above.

Injuries happen. Infections in injuries happen. We should all be rooting for Sano as Twins fans, because he is the single player with Superstar potential with the bat in this squad. I just don't get the grief he gets.

Would love a side by side monthly comparison with Kepler's seasons; Not.Even.Close.



Kepler is a plus fielder, even in CF. Sano is one of the worst defensive third basemen in MLB. If Sano doesn’t hit, he’s utterly useless. Kepler can help even hitting poorly.

That matters.



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