What plate discipline?
Like Ash, I'm more concerned about the stuff that he misses inside the zone because if he was actually hitting more of the pitches that he should obliterate, I'd be able to tolerate swinging out of the zone.
Strikeouts are a completely wasted at bat. Nothing good can come from it. Nothing. Putting the ball in play at the very least has marginal chance at becoming positive and forces the defense to execute the out.
I'm pleased and flattered that you agreed with me. Let me return the favor by disagreeing with you.
I don't think it's useful to compare strikeouts with balls put in play. It confuses the certainty of one result, versus uncertainty on a partial result, when the comparison should be on the approach before the first ball is pitched.
What's missing when you say that a strikeout is wasted, is that there was not just the one opportunity, but (according to the umpire) three, namely the three strikes. Now, if the batter just stares at three pitches down the middle, that's certainly wasted. If he flails at three pitches outside of the strike one, that's wasted. If he takes cuts at strikes thrown but in a bad way (say, fooled by a change up or doesn't know how to read a curve), that's wasted. Even the kind of swing can be a bad idea, say an extreme launch angle when a gale is blowing in. But... a good approach and a good eye can still result in a strikeout, and in that case I don't necessarily have a quarrel with the outcome - it just didn't work, on that at bat.
Let me turn it around. I could say, "Double plays are a completely wasted at bat. Nothing good can come from it. Nothing. Striking out at least meant you had a chance for a home run." You see how I'm reversing the comparison, one being the final result and the other incorporating the chances that a particular plate appearance had?
None of this is to defend Sano's recent trips to the plate, which have been pretty brutal. It's the eye test that he's flunking, not simply the strikeout accumulation. He looks lost.