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Front Page: Hot Corner Consideration: Potential Third Base Alternatives to Miguel Sano

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#21 mikelink45

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 12:08 PM

 

But Lewis at 3B and keep Polanco at SS, IMO. I think he has the stronger arm.

Of course that might not be the case either if Lewis is taking Buxton's place in center.  

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#22 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 12:24 PM

 

I've said it before. Sano is most valuable at 3B. This is the time to work his tail off (If he is willing) to improve his 3B skills. (If he is not willing...trade him.) He may or may not improve his fielding, but I remember Trevor Plouffe and how an extra year playing 3B improved his performance.It could happen for Sano too.

He certainly does not lack arm strength. He needs some of Berrios' mobility drills. 


#23 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 12:29 PM

 

I'm okay with Sano at third in 2020, in hopes he improves. However, it seems to me that his limited range stretches Polanco too, so something needs to give. Is it just me, or did Polanco do much better defensively when Gonzales was filling in at third every day?

I really like Gonzales at 3B. Do his 3B fielding stats support my statement? 


#24 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 12:31 PM

 

Maybe they could get Escobar back from Arizona. He's
getting paid less than Cron or Gonzales.

I'd be working on that trade today.

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#25 Winston Smith

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 12:33 PM

 

Love that you mentioned this, thank you! I probably should have put him in for fun but it seems very improbable the Twins would land him. Maybe my other options are also unlikely but Rendon is the cream of the crop in my opinion. 

They have plenty of money to sign Rendon and a couple starting pitchers if Pohlad will spend it.

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#26 Nash Walker

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 12:39 PM

 

I really like Gonzales at 3B. Do his 3B fielding stats support my statement? 

Good catch. Marwin was great in his 291 1/3 innings at third this year. He had 4 DRS and his UZR/150 is 18.9. Both are outstanding. If I am the Twins I worry about his health and bat (just a .736 OPS last year) as an every day third baseman. 

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#27 Nash Walker

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 12:46 PM

 

I realize this is a nitpick but I have to. :) If what you did there was extrapolate to 162 games (162*HR/G), Sanó isn't even 1st on his own team, much less the entire AL. Cruz and Garver both outpace him. Maybe it's true that if you factor in what a 162-game season would look like for him, he'd jump past everyone else's actual numbers - but in fairness you ought to let all the other players in the league get their multipliers too. (This leaves aside that only 6 major leaguers appeared in 162 games in 2019, and Sanó seems one of the less likely candidates to be allowed to do so even if never on the IL all season.)

 

With that behind me, I'm in the camp that prefers to see if a bit more defensive capability can be taught to Sanó, in preference to any other solutions that cost significant salary to someone else. He handles slowly-hit balls as well as anyone I recall seeing lately, because his arm is strong and accurate, which means there is something to build on. He'll never be rangy to his left or right, but as long as he's got that bat, he's a plus at 3B (just not defensively), which means the team retains the positional flexibility to have an additional good bat at 1B. So if we do add someone at 3B and move Sanó to 1B, the comparison should be to Cron, not to Sanó.

 

You are right. I extrapolated over 162 games. You are right if each player was floated a full season that he would not finish first. But, of those with at least 100 games played, I believe he ranks 3rd behind only Trout and Cruz.  

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#28 brvama

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 02:17 PM

I need to get something off my chest about this proposed move to first because of a presumption of being easier to play and the poor defense at third. Now I beg of you to allow me some leeway as I navigate my thoughts on this.

 

Many have proposed this type of move over the years. It's like just what we did when we were kids, put the worst player in right field. As a former 1st baseman, I somewhat feel that many overlook the difficulty of playing 1B. In Money Ball, IIRC, Ron Washington said that 1B is one of the most difficult positions on the field. 

 

Now, how many chances come to 3b compare 1B? Sano may not have the range there but he does have the arm and does ok coming in on balls. Someone may know the frequency of chances, which I venture is the lowest among infielders.

 

Let's compare 1B. I'd say that the fielding chances are close to 3rd, maybe a bit lower. However, virtually every ground ball to the infield 1B is involved with either fielding the hit or throw. Hopefully, the throw is at the chest, but one has to be able dig it out of the dirt at times, and also be able gather in a high or wide throw. Then there is the footwork to be able to stretch out for a throw. And let's not forget the front end of a double play and covering the bag for the throw back. More footwork.

 

Also, he's charged with holding a runner on, receiving the throw from the pitcher, tagging the runner, fielding his position, receiving the throw from the IF, or tossing to the covering pitcher. And of course there are the relays, but that involves most everyone.

 

When you look at it, 1B touches the ball more than anyone except the P & C, no that's not the insurance term. So to have a good first baseman you need one that has good hands, accurate arm. good footwork, physical flexibility, and instincts. It also helps to be a bit taller. Now that's the end of my rant about playing first base.

 

Regarding Sano, I think he could become a very good first baseman because he has some of the desired tools. But as others have said he could become good at 3rd also, just as Koskie and others did. The only reason I'd move him is because he is blocking someone and 1B needs a fill. When that happens I believe he'd do well there. 

 

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#29 rdehring

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 02:35 PM

There is something else that may account for part of the reason his defense appeared, at least to me, to go down from last year.No one has mentioned that not only did Sano miss all of spring training, he missed the first quarter of the year.Could this have been a factor in his decline?I don't know, but sure seems reasonable to me.  

 

With that said, I think he stays at third for the immediate future.As long as Sano and Buxton are both on the team and healthy, I am hopeful that Lewis becomes the new third baseman by 2021 with Sano moving to part-time first base/DH.

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#30 Kelly Vance

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 07:32 PM

There is a lot more traffic at 1b than 3b. 


#31 Badsmerf

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 08:13 PM

Why is anyone comparing Sano to Plouffe or Koskie? Plouffe was a converted SS in which his best year he was considered an average 3b. Yes, Plouffe got better after 26, but he also was much more athletic build. Koskie was already a good defender at 26... and again, more athletic build.

Sano is not going to get much better, and more likely will get worse. If 1b is too tough for him to play, put him at DH.

The most likely option is Lewis at 3b. I'd be very surprised if he doesn't get time there next year.
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#32 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 09:42 PM

I don’t know what happened to Cron’s defense the second half. Maybe his thumb injury lingered. It took Mauer a couple of seasons to really become a great fielder at first base—great post brvama. MarGo played well at first. Cruz comes back as DH for another season but beyond that, who knows. Maybe that’s where Sano is eventually ticketed, but no one else in the org is ready to step in to 3B day to day like Sano, and I’d focus free agency on pitching

All which is to say I’d leave Sano at third another season, and then reevaluate.
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#33 Sconnie

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 10:21 PM

Sano has a rod inserted in his leg and nasty/infected cut on his foot. Maybe a healthy and non-snake-bitten offseason will get his mobility back in shape.

I’d also go to arb with Cron and keep Lewis playing SS, 3rd and CF. Flexibility is key.
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#34 Kelly Vance

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 10:55 PM

Nobody drafted Lewis to play 3b

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#35 Mike Sixel

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 11:18 PM

Nobody drafted Lewis to play 3b


Even if he's the best option?
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It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#36 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 11:30 PM

Even if he's the best option?

For 2020?
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#37 ToriiRules!!

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 12:54 AM

So I’m a fan of signing Donaldson if we can’t get Stras or Cole... give Donaldson a nice deal we would still have capital after to to get a bumgarner or a wheeler and still have cash to get Odi back and maybe Pineda too

#38 jorgenswest

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 07:04 AM

I don’t think Lewis was expected to stay at SS but with shifting some argue that the demands of the position are changing. That seems fine in theory but then I watch the good middle infields in the playoffs and wonder if the pairing of Arraez and Polanco will hold the Twins back at that level. It might serve the Twins to move everyone down the defensive spectrum with Arraez going to 3B and Polanco 2B. Move Sano to 1B but find a shortstop.
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#39 Platoon

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 07:34 AM

IF the rest of the infield wasn't so god awful lousy you could probably do what has been done for ages in baseball at all levels. Good defense in the middle, and offense on the corners. I know the shifts change the dynamics to an extent, but the fundamental still is applicable. If Polanco and Arrez weren't so glove challenged I imagine Sano wouldn't be such a problem defensively at third. That and the fact that Mauers glove is missed far more than many had anticipated at the top of the year. Those who had salivated for years wishing for more power at 1B now have comparison to judge the benefits of someone who can catch a baseball at the at position v someone who will hit a few more HR's.
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#40 Mike Sixel

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 09:43 AM

For 2020?


That post had nothing to do with next year.... It was about Lewis ever playing third.

It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins.