This is a helpful exercise, and I think you've demonstrated that when he's healthy, Sano's numbers are as good as (or better than) almost anyone's. However, at this point in his career, we also have to acknowledge that Sano has had gaps of 27, 28, 24, 38, and 42 of his team's games when he was not available to the team because of injury, plus a stretch of 25 games at the end of 2018 in which he played 1 game. That's a little more than a season's worth of games missed over almost exactly four seasons.
So while it's true that his stats have been equivalent or better than, say, Kepler per 162 games, Kepler has so far demonstrated a much greater likelihood of playing close to 162 games in a season.
Definitely.This is an exercise of showing per game production when healthy. In the NBA they display points by PPG, in the MLB I think the equivalent of that is pace per 162 games.The point being that besides some general streakiness, that Rosario and to some extent Kepler also possess, the issue is not Sano's production when healthy.It is fair to question Sano's ability to stay healthy.
With that being said, Sano has performed at this level (.320-.340 OBP / 40 HR / 30 2B / 100 runs / 100+ rbi) at a per 162 game pace his whole career.This is essentially Kepler's first year where he's taken that jump.There is something to that as well, although it also shows that Sano has not really improved since entering the majors.With that being said, some of that lack of improvement may be due to the constant injuries and having to rehab from injuries and never really being able to have a full stable season and a chance to really focus on some of those problem areas. Further, Sano's career average for OBP is essentially at where Kepler is at now in his career year.
The overall point in terms of the exercise is a proof that Sano's issues in striking out do not KEEP him from being at the level of Rosario/Kepler and our other young stars. Sano's production this year is not new. The strikeouts KEEP him from being a level above that and entering the true superstar territory.
Sano may or may not make adjustments and figure out on how to cut down the strikeouts by a standard deviation or two, but this exercise should peg the debate where it truly should be at as a reflection of Sano's actual production now versus where it could be if he could cut down the strikeouts.I think it would be unwise to give up on a player who's as productive as Sano and who still has the potential to reach another level because the strikeouts, swing and misses, and style of play looks ugly at times.
It's important to start with the data and work opinions from the data and based in the data.I am hoping this exercise pegs the debate in a better place.