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Article: Let it Sano, Let it Sano, Let it Sano!

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#1 mnfanforlife

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 06:20 PM

You can view the page at http://www.twinsdail...no-Let-it-Sano!

#2 Seth Stohs

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 06:22 PM

I definitely have my thoughts, but I thought it would be interesting to hear other people's opinions before I weigh in with mine...

#3 SeanS7921

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 06:38 PM

While his average isn't a huge deal his swings and misses are a huge deal when talking about moving a guy to the majors. 144 times in low A doesn't cry out ready for the Majors. You didn't even bring up that the guy has no true position in the field and at this point will probably be a RF, DH or 1B guy. 3B is highly dubious. If he can't play 3rd it limits his upside. Byron Buxton is most likely the Twins top prospect and then Sano. We bring up Sano and waste his service time when he's not ready. He isn't close to the prospect Harper is. Not even close. Hopefully Sano will be ready for some big league ball by 2015.

#4 mnfanforlife

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:04 PM

My point was that, in my opinion, when you push a top-prospect to a level out of their comfort zone (like in Haprer's case), they are more MLB ready quicker. And I would say that Harper and Sano are comparable when it comes to offensive production. Harper is better, but Sano is close. Closer than you would admit. We will never know how good Sano is at this age, since he hasnt been pushed at all through the minor league system, despite his status as an elite prospect.

#5 mnfanforlife

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:05 PM

Sano will likely be a DH in the majors. So Harper has a big advantage there.

#6 h2oface

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:21 PM

i have never bought into the stance that you hurt a young man to let him struggle a bit as you let him compete at the level that pushes him. you see it happen too often for other teams.... but the twins tend to bury their guys. or maybe.... they just don't pick as well as they promote they do, and don't have the minor league system they claim. how can it be worse than watching a team lose 99 and 96 2 years in row? you never know if you don't give them a shot. right anthony slama?

#7 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:43 PM

You have your conservative approach....which is the Twins (minors are important & dont hurt your minor league teams to improve yourself....ok a lil tuff but).
The other approach is that players are ONLY in the minors to get them ready to help out the MLB team.
I didnt comlain too much last yr on Sano AS I compare him to Miguel Cabrera, who was called up in July of his 20th bday season (next yr for Sano). Miguel did a half year at High A/half at AA, so next year is where I am gonna be critical of MN on the promotions (of course IF Sano deserves it).

#8 Jim H

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:51 PM

We seem to have these debates about promoting prospects all the time. Why did you pick Harper as a comp? Maybe Delmon Young would be a better comp. He was a guy who didn't have a defensive position, was a highly regarded prospect, was promoted very quickly, and has never really come close to fullfilling his promise.

Here's the thing. When the Twins have a prospect who deserves to be promoted quickly (Mauer, Kubel), they promote them quickly. I believe Sano may very well be a super prospect, but he had struggles at times last year. His numbers really never screamed Promote Me. I suspect that he begins at Fort Myers next spring. If he dominates, he goes to AA. If he dominates there, he goes to AAA. More likely he moves slower than that, because they won't want to give him more than he can handle.

Most times prospects dictate where they play by how they play.

#9 mnfanforlife

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:57 PM

Delmon is a decent comparison for Sano, but Delmon was pushed through the minors quickly like Harper. Delmon played in AAA at age 19. Sano just finished low-A ball at 19. So that isnt a fair comparison either.

#10 mnfanforlife

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 08:01 PM

We will never know what type of impact Sano could have created in the Majors as a 19 yr-old like Harper or other uber-prospects. But, it definitely generates some conversation. And I would rather side with those that think pushing a top-prospect up quickly is in everyone's best interest, than side with those that want to save on MLB service time and all that yuck yuck. As a teacher, you push kids into their "zone of proximal development." And Sano has not been challenged or in his "zone" by any means. He has been a jewel in a league full of rocks the last two years.

#11 minn55441

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 08:03 PM

I agree that both Harper and Sano are elite level talent, but from there we have two different players.
1) Harper is as equally advanced in the field as he is at the plate. Sano if promoted too quickly now, would end up being a career DH. He needs a chance to advance as a fielder. It will only hurt him in the long run to slot him into a DH only position.
2) Harper grew up in the US and speaks english. As much as learning the game, Sano has had to learn about life in the US and adjust what a ballplayers life is like away from the diamond. We would be setting him up for failure to stick him on a huge stage before he has the maturity to deal with it.
3) Sano has specific things to work on even at the low A level in terms of both field and hitting. You can learn from success and failure. He is seeing both at his current level in the organization.

Would I like to see him play at Hi-A to start next year and finish the season at AA? sure, but he will need to earn it by cutting down on his strikeouts and improving his fielding.

#12 mnfanforlife

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 08:07 PM

Honestly, i would have liked to see him skip Elizabethton and play in Beloit as an 18-yr-old. Then get into the Florida State league last year (2012), and have a fighting chance as a 20-yr-old to get a September call-up. I think he would have been ready for this type of schedule, but we will never know.

#13 Seth Stohs

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 08:22 PM

Delmon is a decent comparison for Sano, but Delmon was pushed through the minors quickly like Harper. Delmon played in AAA at age 19. Sano just finished low-A ball at 19. So that isnt a fair comparison either.


Maybe not, but that is certainly the risk of rushing someone too quickly. Guys like Griffey Jr, Harper, Trout, Cabrera, they are the RARE exceptions. Trout and Harper didn't strikeout nearly as much as Sano did. They were all terrific defensively.

I'm not at all ready to say the Twins are moving Sano too slowly. He put up very good power numbers in Low A (and was still a good 2 years younger than the average player there), but he struggled with the defensive side of the game, and he struggled making contact at times, he had a couple of pretty big slumps. And, there have always been maturity questions about Sano (which I heard he greatly improved this year).

I see them moving him at the Mauer/Revere pace, which is incredibly quickly. But he's going to have to warrant that promotion next year.

#14 mnfanforlife

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 08:28 PM

yes those guys are rare exceptions. I was really hoping that Sano was going to be one of those rare types. But he is just a tick below that status.

#15 Brad Swanson

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:17 PM

One other point, regarding Harper, is that Washington was a contending team that needed him in the outfield. The Twins aren't very good and don't really need another CI/DH type right now.

Letting Sano develop in the low minors can only help his confidence and help enhance his tools. I'd prefer to see prospects skip higher levels, rather than the lower levels. That is just my preference though.

#16 jboshe4

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:24 PM

For what its worth I saw Sano in June for a couple games, and if I remember right it was before he had hit any of his big slumps. Anyway, he didn't look at all like a guy that would've been able to handle any sort of advanced pitching at that point. He was very Pedro Cerrano-esque, straight ball hit it very much. Curveball, bats are afraid. I don't think he even made contact with and breaking pitch, and took several for strikes.

I think his numbers were probably more a product of a guy who can absolutely punish mistakes, which are plentiful in Low-A. That said he seemed to have decent approach in that he knew he could wait to try and get in a good count and then hit straight ball. However, that approach will not play so well at higher levels.

Not to be entirely negative, I still think he has tons of potential and love that he's in our system and am very excited about him. But from my view, he didn't really look like a guy that should be on an highly accelerated timeline, especially with the lack of defensive value.

#17 Brad Swanson

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:30 PM

I think I remember either Kevin Goldstein or Jason Parks on an Up and In podcast early in the season hypothesizing on how Sano would do in the Majors. If I remember right, they thought he would hit about .100 and strike out over 300 times. Now, they are obviously just theorizing, but that might not be all that far off. He did strike out 140 times against Low A pitching.

This isn't even a critique of his skills, just where he was in his development before the season. He'll work out those issues as he ages and develops.

#18 Big City

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:41 PM

Comparing Sano to Harper is tough for me to make because Harper physically looks the same today then he did when he was drafted. Sano on the other hand came into our organization much younger than Harper and has physically matured from being a medium sized SS to a taller beefier version of himself. That's why I don't see the rush to promote him through the ranks and sacrifice his value by playing him as a DH, 1B, or RF. According to scouts, his coordination even in the AFL has improved giving him positive defensive reviews. I'd give Sano another year or two to physically develop and improve his 3B defense in the minors especially consdering he's on the same trajectory to be promoted with Rosario and Arcia. A 2014 IF consisting of Mauer, Parmalee, Rosario and Sano with Arcia, Revere and Hicks in the OF is my manifest destiny.

#19 Mave

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:49 PM

In two seasons in the Minor leagues, Bryce Harper committed 12 errors, while learning a new position... Heck, Delmon committed only 20 errors in 5 minor league seasons. I understand that looking at the number of errors alone doesn't make for a strong argument in the day and age of fancy calculators, but Sano has committed 90 errors already over three seasons. That's pretty heavy.

I also completely agree with the point that Sano was also in need some time to adapt to life in America/speaking a new language. One of his biggest concerns about playing in Wisconsin this past year was that it is such a radically cold climate compared to anything he has ever known!! That isn't a lifestyle/life decision I (or many people for that matter) will ever be able to appreciate or understand. I think that this point also has merit.

#20 Twins Twerp

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:50 PM

We will never know what type of impact Sano could have created in the Majors as a 19 yr-old like Harper or other uber-prospects. But, it definitely generates some conversation. And I would rather side with those that think pushing a top-prospect up quickly is in everyone's best interest, than side with those that want to save on MLB service time and all that yuck yuck. As a teacher, you push kids into their "zone of proximal development." And Sano has not been challenged or in his "zone" by any means. He has been a jewel in a league full of rocks the last two years.


Nice zone of proximal development self. I agree 100 % with the argument. No reason to rush him when his defense needs so much work and he still strikes out at a very high rate.

Just to throw some more teaching jargon out there for you...bringing Sano up at a slow pace may be the "least restrictive environment," but also may trigger a "looking glass self" as he performs to level he is at. If he were to be put into a situation where he is facing better compition, who is to say he doesn't step up the the plate (baseball cliche)?

#21 mnfanforlife

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:55 PM

One other point, regarding Harper, is that Washington was a contending team that needed him in the outfield. The Twins aren't very good and don't really need another CI/DH type right now.

Letting Sano develop in the low minors can only help his confidence and help enhance his tools. I'd prefer to see prospects skip higher levels, rather than the lower levels. That is just my preference though.


I agree that they need to skip levels, but i think they should skip the levels they will easily dominate. And play at the upper levels as an outlier age-wise.

#22 Brad Swanson

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:57 PM

So, is this just a community filled with teachers?

The risk with pushing gifted "students" like Sano is that you can burn them out. You want to keep them challenged, but you still need to nurture their developmental and social needs. Sano likely does need more of a cultural adjustment than Harper, and that plays a role in his development.

We can't create gaps in his learning :)

#23 mnfanforlife

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 10:01 PM

We will never know what type of impact Sano could have created in the Majors as a 19 yr-old like Harper or other uber-prospects. But, it definitely generates some conversation. And I would rather side with those that think pushing a top-prospect up quickly is in everyone's best interest, than side with those that want to save on MLB service time and all that yuck yuck. As a teacher, you push kids into their "zone of proximal development." And Sano has not been challenged or in his "zone" by any means. He has been a jewel in a league full of rocks the last two years.


Nice zone of proximal development self. I agree 100 % with the argument. No reason to rush him when his defense needs so much work and he still strikes out at a very high rate.

Just to throw some more teaching jargon out there for you...bringing Sano up at a slow pace may be the "least restrictive environment," but also may trigger a "looking glass self" as he performs to level he is at. If he were to be put into a situation where he is facing better compition, who is to say he doesn't step up the the plate (baseball cliche)?


Exactly! i just wish we could have seen him struggle at a higher level last year (and the year before for that matter). He is known as a stud back home (#1 overall pick in the Dominican Winter League draft), so maybe he does figure things out quicker if he gets challenged early as a 18-19-yr-old

#24 peterukavina

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 10:03 PM

I think you need to look at the years of control and his contribution during those years. If he's not going to help the club that much, why start his eligibility?

#25 Brad Swanson

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 10:06 PM

I think you need to look at the years of control and his contribution during those years. If he's not going to help the club that much, why start his eligibility?


This is a huge factor for me too. I don't like the Twins being cheap, but if you bring Sano up for a couple years and he is brutal, you waste two years of his service time and two years of his development.

I would feel a lot differently if Sano was 21, played third well and the Twins were a borderline playoff team.

#26 mnfanforlife

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 10:10 PM

I think you need to look at the years of control and his contribution during those years. If he's not going to help the club that much, why start his eligibility?


This is a huge factor for me too. I don't like the Twins being cheap, but if you bring Sano up for a couple years and he is brutal, you waste two years of his service time and two years of his development.

I would feel a lot differently if Sano was 21, played third well and the Twins were a borderline playoff team.


I complete agree he isnt going to fly through the minors like Harper did. But I was hopin to see him move multiple low-levels per year to speed things up a bit. The Twins haven't seemed to let anyone skip AAA lately. Which means Sano could be looking at 3 more years in the minors before he gets a full season in the majors.

#27 minn55441

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 10:27 PM

[/QUOTE]The Twins haven't seemed to let anyone skip AAA lately. Which means Sano could be looking at 3 more years in the minors before he gets a full season in the majors.[/QUOTE]

Both Benson and Parmelee skipped AAA in Sept of 2011. It was a good call up for both, however both went different directions in 2012.

#28 70charger

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 10:31 PM

Most of my points have already been made. 1) He's defensively pretty bad and needs seasoning. 2) He strikes out too much and needs to work on hitting certain pitches. 3) If we start his service clock when both he and the Twins are going to do nothing but suck, we're wasting time that's under team control.

One thing that bugs me is this constantly repeated idea that the Twins don't promote their minor league players fast enough. Usually the evidence is one of two things: a comparison to a non-comparable player (as here), or treating unrepresentative players as typical of the system. Every player is different. I think many people here would be surprised at how alike minor league systems and promotions are.

#29 OldManWinter

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 11:29 PM

I agree with 70charger on his last comment.

People often express a degree of suspicion, conspiracy, and intrigue toward the Twins management.

I ask, what management group in their right mind would fail to move players up when they are ready? Or, if the team has a need fir their talents? The careers of decision makers jobs depend upon making correct decisions.

Teams would be cutting their own throats if they made decisions other than when they think players are truly ready. After all, they play in a highly competitive environment where they can ill afford to make decisions based on factors other than performance.

#30 SpantheMan

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 11:31 PM

If you promote prospects up to the upper minors, you increase the chance of them stalling out in AA. Sano is doing very well but he also has many things to work on. He's unrefined. He still strikes out a ton and plays raw defense