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Article: Taking a Deeper Dive into Miguel Sano's Plate Discipline

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#21 Aerodeliria

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 02:04 AM

Does anyone know if Cruz is helping Sano with plate discipline and/or pitch recognition? I mean they are quite similar hitters in many respects (strike out frequently, try to hit the long ball), but Cruz takes quite a few walks, even in high leverage situations.

 

Concerning Marwin, I wasn't...concerned that is because he was making contact and he was not expanding the strike zone. It was simply a matter of time before good things started happening. (Adrianza I had less patience with simply because I took his history as the basis for my complaint. I am happy to be shown the error of my ways.)

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#22 wsnydes

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 05:22 AM

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. 

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#23 rv78

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 06:15 AM

Sano, Buxton, Rosario, Kepler, Polanco. All came up to the big league roster about the same time. Sano and Buxton were the two that were suppose to be the "Stars" of the bunch. As it turns out they have been the worst of the bunch with Sano leading the way. I keep comparing him to David Ortiz and wonder if the Twins trade him will he become just that, another David Ortiz? How long do you keep a player that just can't figure out you don't have to try to hit every ball 500 feet. Maybe they should have him practice bunting so he learns that putting the bat on the ball is more productive.

Edited by rv78, 20 June 2019 - 06:16 AM.


#24 Vanimal46

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 07:28 AM

I sure hope he doesn't become Joey Gallo because I don't think his current performance is sustainable...

Every player has peaks and valleys in their game. Because Sano's discipline is iffy at best, his valleys are pretty bad. When he's off, he barely makes contact with a pitch.

I don't understand why some fans continue to dismiss this problem of his. Why is it a bad thing to comment about his bad plate discipline and high K rate, and want him to improve that aspect of his game?
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#25 twinsnorth49

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 07:40 AM

The fact that he's whiffing regularly on sub 95mph fastballs is a pretty good indication that his approach needs a reset. He's simply guessing, largely due to his inability to recognize breaking pitches out of the zone, when he tries to sit on them pitchers are busting him on the inner third of the plate and he's behind. Making them come into the zone on him needs to be number one, then he can start just looking fastball, which at that point he should rarely miss. Was he in a hitters count once during the Red Sox series? Falling behind 0-2 or 1-2 every AB is a recipe for disaster unless he can get a little disciplne. 

 

As Ted points out though, the Gallo comparison is cause for some hope. 


#26 mikelink45

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 08:23 AM

As a consistent critic of Sano, I am compelled to add to this discussion. Watching Sano wiff insignificant at-bats the last two nights has driven my frustration to higher levels. He didn't even come close to hitting those balls. It says if he has his eyes closed and just hopes. You can throw all kinds of stats at me, but being one of those old guys, I still like to judge what I see. And I do not want Sano coming up in crucial situations. I have no faith in him. Somebody might turn him around and I hope that that happens but as of now I am not a fan. I prefer Arraez and his bat discipline over Sano. And I hope by the end of the year or next year or sometime in his career I can eat by words.
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#27 RatherBeGolfing

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 08:28 AM

I thought his strikeouts weren't a problem! That's what I was told maybe a week ago in another article.


#28 ashbury

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 08:37 AM

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.

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#29 laloesch

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 08:38 AM

Striking out at a 38% clip is a big problem. No excuses.

Edited by laloesch, 20 June 2019 - 08:38 AM.


#30 dex8425

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 08:42 AM

I don't like the Joey Gallo comparison because Gallo is super athletic, can play center field, isn't a liability on the basepaths, etc. while Sano is not exactly a gold glove in the field. Gallo is legitimately an MVP candidate right now. Sano is not. Sano hasn't even played one full mlb season because of injury issues either. 

 

They are only comparable because both are 3 true outcome hitters. Yoan Moncada is another.


#31 adjacent

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 08:48 AM

I wonder if doesn't need to have his vision checked. I am saying because he is late on fastballs, or obviously guessing. Like he isn't able to see the pitch until late. I assume that a vision check is part of their yearly routine, but just wonder 

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#32 Vanimal46

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 08:53 AM

I wonder if doesn't need to have his vision checked. I am saying because he is late on fastballs, or obviously guessing. Like he isn't able to see the pitch until late. I assume that a vision check is part of their yearly routine, but just wonder


Dude needs Rick Vaughn glasses!

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#33 birdwatcher

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 08:54 AM

Rocco Baldelli: "He's consistently taking good at bats."

 

This is a phrase he's uttered about any number of his players, but not about Sano.

 

Does Sano simply lack mental discipline? I have trouble believing he just needs an appointment with the eye doctor or a bunch of time hitting off a tee. Gotta believe there's something more to these swoons.

Edited by birdwatcher, 20 June 2019 - 08:55 AM.

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#34 JD Green

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 09:02 AM

Maybe the reason Sano is guessing is that he cant recognize a pitch. Would it help if he was instructed to take the first 3 pitches where he would probably be in a 2 - 1 count. The hitting coach takes notes on each pitch and sits down with him after each at bat and discuss what they saw with each pitch? Gotta try something to help him improve.

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#35 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 09:22 AM

I'm sorry but it's a real stretch to point out that Sano's contact issues are a problem but the end result of contact issues, strikeouts, are not a problem.

 

I'm not terribly concerned about player strikeouts in and of themselves but I am very concerned about the problems that lead to player strikeouts in excessive numbers. Therefore, by extension I'm also concerned about the strikeouts, particularly with Sano.

 

These two things are inextricably linked. If Sano made more contact and had better pitch recognition, he'd strike out less.

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#36 USNMCPO

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 09:39 AM

I'm not an analytics guy and never will be (too damn old), but from the eye test, Sano looks like a black hole at the plate and a "hit or miss" 3rd baseman. If he was consistently good at one of the two he would be fine. But sadly, I do not see that right now and doubt he will improve any time in the future. I keep seeing people say they don't want another Ortiz situation, but if the team does nothing and continues to get the same results it is an unforced error. Either fix him quickly or send him down the road.

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#37 Cap'n Piranha

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 09:52 AM

 

I believe the Sano defenders are equally missing the point. The guy can’t hit or lay-off an outside breaking pitch or catch up to a fastball belt high or above. Not the profile of a hitter that is going to produce against good pitching staffs. He has to seriously rework his approach at the plate

 

He has a better OPS on the year than Rosario, Adrianza, Schoop, Gonzalez, and Astudillo.By the way, if chasing pitches is bad, then Astudillo is a far bigger issue, with his 46.6% chase rate.


#38 Parker Hageman

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 09:55 AM

 

The check swings are what drive me mad. Do it or don't, man. Obviously it's really difficult to identify pitches, MLB pitchers are really good, but if you start your swing, just let it fly. Commit. If you're gonna have a swinging strike, I want all the people up in Minnie & Paul's to feel the wooosh from your swing :)

 

The check swings aren't inherently bad. It's often a product of the YES-YES-NO approach in the box (getting the swing started early then shutting it down late when you don't like the pitch). 

 

The fact that he's whiffing regularly on sub 95mph fastballs is a pretty good indication that his approach needs a reset.

 

 

I don't know if I would call it regularly -- it's just 18 swing/misses on pitches 94 mph and lower -- however, and I've pointed this out over the years, Sano's swing isn't conducive to fastballs up in the zone. That's where the majority of his swing/misses are on those, regardless of velo. Boston picked him apart up there this series. 

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#39 Vanimal46

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 09:56 AM

He has a better OPS on the year than Rosario, Adrianza, Schoop, Gonzalez, and Astudillo. By the way, if chasing pitches is bad, then Astudillo is a far bigger issue, with his 46.6% chase rate.


Astudillo's chase rate is an issue. That's why he was sent down to Rochester.

Sano striking out in 24 of 56 PAs in June is totally fine because his OPS is still good? I don't get it, I really don't.
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#40 Cap'n Piranha

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Posted 20 June 2019 - 09:57 AM

 

You are certainly entitled to your opinion Ted. Just don’t be surprised that a lot of people don’t share it. A strikeout is a completely wasted at bat.

Sano has a career BABIP of .345. A little more than half of his career PA are balls not in play and 2/3 of the balls not in play are Ks.

In a full season, if Sano got 500 PA, he would put about 225 in play and strike out 200 times at 40% ratio.

Striking out at a 30% ratio would trim that to 150. That would translate into 17 more hits given his BABIP. That’s almost an extra hit per week. That’s the difference between where Sano is now and where he could be, an elite level player. Sure, he could still improve his plate discipline, but he has done nothing but get worse since day one. That is extremely concerning.

 

This is inaccurate.You're assuming that his BABIP stays the same if he changes his approach; it's quite possible it would change, and change drastically.Willians Astudillo is an elite contact hitter, and owns a career .290 BABIP.Eddie Rosario is another very good contact hitter--his career BABIP is .313.It's most likely that if Sano works to cut down his strikeouts, the trade off will be making less hard contact, and probably a lower BABIP.I'm not super interested in trading strikeouts for weak contact.




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