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Article: TD Top Prospects: #2 Miguel Sano

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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 07:00 AM

You can view the page at http://www.twinsdail...s-2-Miguel-Sano

#2 Twins Twerp

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 07:59 AM

Nice!

#3 AM.

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 08:10 AM

Is 45 or 50 home runs actually in jest? Why not?

#4 tobi0040

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 08:20 AM

Nice!


The intriguing thing might be Sano's floor. If you assume he is a DH his whole career and hits .250, 35-40 HR, 90-100 BB, 100 RBI, well his floor is a rich man's Adam Dunn. Dunn will likely finish his career with over 500 HR, .365 OBP, .860 OPS.

His ceiling is very high obvioulsy. I don't ever see him hitting .320 or .330 like Miguel Cabrera, but that is a comp with one of the best hitters of all time.

Obviously Sano's value hinges a great deal on his ability to stick at 3B. Even if he sticks at 3B for the next 6-7 years. It would be pretty amazing to have a 3B that can hit .260, 35-40 HR, and take 100 BB a year.

#5 Ncgo4

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 08:25 AM

Say what you want about Buxton, but it's Sano and his almost unimaginable power that has saliva running down my chin. Also he has a fire in his belly that screams, "Screw this Minnesota nice BS!" I recall he got beaned or brushed back in a game and came back the next AB and went yard against the same pitcher. While rounding the bases he was pointing or yelling or somehow making sure the pitcher remembered the night's events.

He as the potential to hit a lot of HR's and bring in a lot of runs, but more important he has the personality to change the clubhouse attitude. I can see him driving Gardy absolutely nuts at times and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Fortunately, for us, Mauer will be able to help him harness his emotions in a way that they don't become destructive.

i, for one, cannot wait for his arrival. I think a big key will be what happens in spring this year. If opponents toss him nothing but junk and get a youngster who is anxious to impress to go chasing it could set him back. But if he shows an improved discipline the expectations and frenzy could become really nuts. Both he and Buxton have the potential to make it very uncomfortable for Twins management in spring training this year. Here's hoping they do.

#6 gunnarthor

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 08:49 AM

Nice write up Seth. If both he and Buxton start the year together at AA ... wow. Can you imagine how many scouts would be at all those games?

Long term, I love Sano. He might struggle a bit at first but his power - esp his RH bat - should play well in TF.

#7 Monkeypaws

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 09:01 AM

This might be a good time for potential season ticket holders to check out the upper deck in left field for seats.

#8 birddog

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 09:24 AM

After three years of mediocrity at best, Twins fans have hope for the future and no one provides more excitement than Sano. I remember as a kid watching or listening to Twins games until the very end because Killebrew was coming up in the 9th. Or Puckett. Or (in his prime) Morneau. David Ortiz as a Twin was exciting to watch hit--even when he'd swing and miss. With the great ones is possibility that with every pitch he could hit one out. Willingham two years ago fit that mold. Let Sano be Sano and he'll be fantastic. Don't try to change him like we tried to change Ortiz to "use the whole field". The great home run hitters don't need to use the whole field. If Sano never hits a ball to right field, I'm okay with that. Just hit it hard somewhere and utilize the theory "You've got three swings. Don't be afraid to use them." Sano will strike out--but even his K's will be more exciting than any at bat a current Twin can provide, Mauer included.

Edited by birddog, 13 February 2014 - 09:35 AM.


#9 Dakota Dan

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 11:02 AM

Nice write up Seth. If both he and Buxton start the year together at AA ... wow. Can you imagine how many scouts would be at all those games?

Long term, I love Sano. He might struggle a bit at first but his power - esp his RH bat - should play well in TF.


Seth, please explain something for me. If you are correct and the Twins plan to bring Sano up to the majors this year, starting him in AA and skipping AAA, why not start him in AAA? I know teams often due just as you predicted. I certainly due not have enough baseball smarts to say that this is a bad idea, I just don't understand why starting in AAA would not make the transition easier.

#10 gunnarthor

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 11:17 AM

Seth, please explain something for me. If you are correct and the Twins plan to bring Sano up to the majors this year, starting him in AA and skipping AAA, why not start him in AAA? I know teams often due just as you predicted. I certainly due not have enough baseball smarts to say that this is a bad idea, I just don't understand why starting in AAA would not make the transition easier.


Not Seth but I have a few guesses. First, his walk rates and power were just fine in AA but he did have some strike out issues and his avg fell to .236. Nothing wrong with letting him get a little more experience in AA. Second, it lets Sano and Buxton be on the same team. Third, the Twins have had no concerns promoting directly from AA (as have many other teams). And fourth, AAA is sometimes noted for its negative atmosphere as it is full of players who can't quite stick in the majors or feel they got a screw job by their team.

#11 Linus

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 12:04 PM

After three years of mediocrity at best, Twins fans have hope for the future and no one provides more excitement than Sano. I remember as a kid watching or listening to Twins games until the very end because Killebrew was coming up in the 9th. Or Puckett. Or (in his prime) Morneau. David Ortiz as a Twin was exciting to watch hit--even when he'd swing and miss. With the great ones is possibility that with every pitch he could hit one out. Willingham two years ago fit that mold. Let Sano be Sano and he'll be fantastic. Don't try to change him like we tried to change Ortiz to "use the whole field". The great home run hitters don't need to use the whole field. If Sano never hits a ball to right field, I'm okay with that. Just hit it hard somewhere and utilize the theory "You've got three swings. Don't be afraid to use them." Sano will strike out--but even his K's will be more exciting than any at bat a current Twin can provide, Mauer included.


Can we stop with the "Twins ruined David Ortiz power" business. He turned into a great hitter, partially because he could use the whole field in Fenway and because he started taking special vitamins and was hurt a lot less. He was an injury prone, inconsistent hitter with the Twins. That was on him, pure and simple. He needed somebody to blame it on and wasn't man enough to take the blame.

#12 Linus

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 12:07 PM

Seth, please explain something for me. If you are correct and the Twins plan to bring Sano up to the majors this year, starting him in AA and skipping AAA, why not start him in AAA? I know teams often due just as you predicted. I certainly due not have enough baseball smarts to say that this is a bad idea, I just don't understand why starting in AAA would not make the transition easier.


I am in agreement. I would start him in AAA. I know that they don't hesitate to promote from AA but he would face more experienced pitchers, some with prior MLB experience, in AAA. If he can't handle starting in AAA, all the talk of fast track promotion is really premature.

#13 Dantes929

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 12:20 PM

"Don't try to change him like we tried to change Ortiz to "use the whole field". The great home run hitters don't need to use the whole field" Type in Dave Ortiz and spray chart and also try "new approach" and let me know what you think. Better yet, look at baseball reference splits. 1275 of his 2023 hits were opposite field or up the middle. 202 of his 431 home runs were opposite field or up the middle. I would much rather Sano drive the pitch according to where it is thrown rather than trying to pull everything. If he resembles Killebrew that would be fine but I would prefer he resemble Cabrerra.

#14 DuluthFan

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 12:25 PM


By starting Sano at AA it allows for several scenarios to play out over the course of the year.

1) If Trevor Plouff happens to have a big year, it leaves a level to promote Sano to if he also has a good year.
2) Sano is not currently on the 40 man roster. If Plouff goes down with an injury and a call up is needed, and Sano is struggling at the time, they can then call up the AAA replacement rather than the AA player who may not be ready.
3) There are other players in the Twins minor league system. While Sano is on his own advancement path, there are other players that also have their own paths to take. While they may not be the level of prospect as Sano, they still need to play at the level that they need to be at to continue to advance at their own pace. These players still have value to the Twins if only as future trade chips (Romero, Hanson, Waring).
4) The Twins have several utility players on their 40 man roster. The players that don't make the team need to be assigned somewhere (Bernier, Escobar). Usually that is AAA.

#15 Linus

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 12:32 PM

By starting Sano at AA it allows for several scenarios to play out over the course of the year.

1) If Trevor Plouff happens to have a big year, it leaves a level to promote Sano to if he also has a good year.
2) Sano is not currently on the 40 man roster. If Plouff goes down with an injury and a call up is needed, and Sano is struggling at the time, they can then call up the AAA replacement rather than the AA player who may not be ready.
3) There are other players in the Twins minor league system. While Sano is on his own advancement path, there are other players that also have their own paths to take. While they may not be the level of prospect as Sano, they still need to play at the level that they need to be at to continue to advance at their own pace. These players still have value to the Twins if only as future trade chips (Romero, Hanson, Waring).
4) The Twins have several utility players on their 40 man roster. The players that don't make the team need to be assigned somewhere (Bernier, Escobar). Usually that is AAA.


Number 2 makes sense to me. Number 4 not at all. I believe Escobar will be with the Twins, but organizational depth players like Bernier will have no bearing on where Sano ends up starting or ending the season.

#16 Steve Lein

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 01:41 PM

"Don't try to change him like we tried to change Ortiz to "use the whole field". The great home run hitters don't need to use the whole field" Type in Dave Ortiz and spray chart and also try "new approach" and let me know what you think. Better yet, look at baseball reference splits. 1275 of his 2023 hits were opposite field or up the middle. 202 of his 431 home runs were opposite field or up the middle. I would much rather Sano drive the pitch according to where it is thrown rather than trying to pull everything. If he resembles Killebrew that would be fine but I would prefer he resemble Cabrerra.


Sorry, but this is misleading. I've researched this before specifically for David Ortiz. While he does get plenty of "opposite field" hits, his power is significantly favored to his pull side. In 2013, 26 of Ortiz's 30 HR's were to the right side of dead center field (pull side). 16 of 23 in 2012. 19 of 29 in 2011. 27 of 32 in 2010. 19 of 28 in 2009. 19 of 23 in 2008... 27 of 35 in 2007. 45 of 54 in 2006...

Definitely don't want Sano to pull everything (just like with pretty much any hitter), but I think it has been clearly demonstrated that Minnesota's "use the whole field" push with Ortiz was detrimental to his power development and antithesis to what made him successful in Boston.

And Cabrera is great at this because he is also a great "hitter." I don't think we'll quite see that with Sano. So I say let him do whatever is needed for him to be successful in his own way, instead of trying to make him something he may not be, like they did with Ortiz.

Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 40, Speed: 40. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but can sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)


#17 Dantes929

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 02:02 PM

"So I say let him do whatever is needed for him to be successful in his own way, instead of trying to make him something he may not be, like they did with Ortiz. " Of course that is true and of course if they told Ortiz to hit to the opposite field then that is wrong. If all they did was coach him to go with the pitch then that is another thing. Doing that a natural pull hitter will still pull the ball more often but if a hitter TRIES to pull every pitch it is not a recipe for success. If you look at the splits he had as a twin they actually skew more to him being a pull hitter with the Twins than he was with the Red Sox. He was actually a pretty good hitter with the Twins and I was sorry to see him go but he did seem to get stronger with the Sox..

#18 tobi0040

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 02:11 PM

Sorry, but this is misleading. I've researched this before specifically for David Ortiz. While he does get plenty of "opposite field" hits, his power is significantly favored to his pull side. In 2013, 26 of Ortiz's 30 HR's were to the right side of dead center field (pull side). 16 of 23 in 2012. 19 of 29 in 2011. 27 of 32 in 2010. 19 of 28 in 2009. 19 of 23 in 2008... 27 of 35 in 2007. 45 of 54 in 2006...

Definitely don't want Sano to pull everything (just like with pretty much any hitter), but I think it has been clearly demonstrated that Minnesota's "use the whole field" push with Ortiz was detrimental to his power development and antithesis to what made him successful in Boston.

And Cabrera is great at this because he is also a great "hitter." I don't think we'll quite see that with Sano. So I say let him do whatever is needed for him to be successful in his own way, instead of trying to make him something he may not be, like they did with Ortiz.


I know this is unfair to an extent because many players used and baseball did not test for a long time. I am also aware this will probably rub some people the wrong way. But I do have some doubts about Ortiz's numbers in Boston (early on). The following are facts:

-He could not stay healthy and was not a great DH here. Career high 20 HR and .839 OPS.

-He then goes to Boston and hits 173 HR in 4 years.

-He is best friends with Manny Ramirez, who used.

-He was reported to have failed a test in 2003, by every major outlet.

I can't say for sure, but I don't think we can 100% pin this on the Twins staff with these facts out there.

#19 Linus

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 02:21 PM

I know this is unfair to an extent because many players used and baseball did not test for a long time. I am also aware this will probably rub some people the wrong way. But I do have some doubts about Ortiz's numbers in Boston (early on). The following are facts:

-He could not stay healthy and was not a great DH here. Career high 20 HR and .839 OPS.

-He then goes to Boston and hits 173 HR in 4 years.

-He is best friends with Manny Ramirez, who used.

-He was reported to have failed a test in 2003, by every major outlet.

I can't say for sure, but I don't think we can 100% pin this on the Twins staff with these facts out there.


This. Plus this idea that it has been "clearly demonstrated" that the Twins made him use the whole field or go the other way is just not true. This is akin to political statements in Washington that get repeated enough until people begin to take them for facts. I'm sure they, like all organizations tell players that if they try and pull a slider on the outside corner you are going to roll over a weak grounder but they hardly can be blamed for his performance. Good grief, look at Trevor Plouffe - there is no way he plays for an organization that makes players hit the ball exclusively the other way.

#20 birddog

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 02:46 PM

Can we stop with the "Twins ruined David Ortiz power" business. He turned into a great hitter, partially because he could use the whole field in Fenway and because he started taking special vitamins and was hurt a lot less. He was an injury prone, inconsistent hitter with the Twins. That was on him, pure and simple. He needed somebody to blame it on and wasn't man enough to take the blame.


I have never seen a situation where David Otiz wasn't man enough. Ortiz showed flashes of being the hitter he would become with the Twins, only to have the Twins keep Mathew LeCroix and let Ortiz walk. I can't think of a bigger mistake made by the Twins, including the Nishioka debacle. LeCroix, more famous for eating cockroaches than his hitting or catching prowess, never became anything more than a good old boy who never came close to reaching his potential hitting the way the Twins preferred. My point was that Sano is not only a very talented, young power hitter like Ortiz; he is also a free spirit with a ton of self esteem who knows his style of hitting is just what Twins fans crave. He, like Ortiz, wants to become a leader. He is very young and will make mistakes just like Ortiz did when he first came up, but his style of hitting should eventually bring perennial numbers of .300, 30-40 HRs, and 100+ RBIs. Work on his plate discipline, but let Sano be the hitter he is. He, like Ortiz when the Twins let him go, is a very young man with way too much God-given talent to change his style of hitting.

#21 Steve Lein

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 02:48 PM

This. Plus this idea that it has been "clearly demonstrated" that the Twins made him use the whole field or go the other way is just not true.


This is just one example of an article talking about how the Twins tried to change him. From:

http://espn.go.com/b...ame-david-ortiz

(it does also go on to say how they wanted him to utilize his power-frame more, but this is why I say it's been demonstrated)

"Ortiz spent nearly all of 1999 at Triple-A, hitting .315 with 30 home runs, before going 0-for-20 in September. He hit .282/.364/.446, playing in 130 games but platooned a lot. But there was a reason he hit only 10 home runs.

The Sporting News, April 30, 2001:

A year ago, the Twins tried to get DH David Ortiz to shorten his stroke and punch balls up the middle and to the opposite field."

Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 40, Speed: 40. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but can sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)


#22 Linus

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 02:58 PM

This is just one example of an article talking about how the Twins tried to change him. From:

http://espn.go.com/b...ame-david-ortiz

(it does also go on to say how they wanted him to utilize his power-frame more, but this is why I say it's been demonstrated)

"Ortiz spent nearly all of 1999 at Triple-A, hitting .315 with 30 home runs, before going 0-for-20 in September. He hit .282/.364/.446, playing in 130 games but platooned a lot. But there was a reason he hit only 10 home runs.

The Sporting News, April 30, 2001:

A year ago, the Twins tried to get DH David Ortiz to shorten his stroke and punch balls up the middle and to the opposite field."


Sorry. Something from the Sporting News doesn't qualify as proof. Letting Ortiz go was one of the biggest mistakes the Twins ever made. Fine - we can all agree on that. The idea that the way he was coached in Minnesota was the problem and that, magically, the way he was coached in Boston made all the difference is just baloney. As a hitter, he figured it out - that's how it works sometimes. I think it is more clear that he started juicing than getting away from some horrible hitting approach. I think it is also telling that after the Twins let him go, he sat around for a while before signing with the Red Sox.

#23 cmb0252

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 03:02 PM

Who cares about Ortiz? This article is about Sano who is going to be awesome. I'm already planning to get his jersey the second he hits the bigs.

#24 jimv2

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 03:19 PM

Can we stop with the "Twins ruined David Ortiz power" business. He turned into a great hitter, partially because he could use the whole field in Fenway and because he started taking special vitamins and was hurt a lot less. He was an injury prone, inconsistent hitter with the Twins. That was on him, pure and simple. He needed somebody to blame it on and wasn't man enough to take the blame.


Bingo.

#25 tobi0040

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 03:25 PM

I think it is also telling that after the Twins let him go, he sat around for a while before signing with the Red Sox.


Good point, he made $1.25M in his first year in Boston. I think he may have signed to a minor league deal initially.

#26 Steve Lein

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 03:54 PM

Sorry. Something from the Sporting News doesn't qualify as proof. Letting Ortiz go was one of the biggest mistakes the Twins ever made. Fine - we can all agree on that. The idea that the way he was coached in Minnesota was the problem and that, magically, the way he was coached in Boston made all the difference is just baloney. As a hitter, he figured it out - that's how it works sometimes. I think it is more clear that he started juicing than getting away from some horrible hitting approach. I think it is also telling that after the Twins let him go, he sat around for a while before signing with the Red Sox.


I said that is just one example. If I had time to do an exhaustive search, I guarantee I would fine numerous more. (another example just because: http://www.twincitie...ars-david-ortiz)

And heck, sure he sat around waiting for a team to sign him. Luckily for him, that team was Boston. They let him be himself, which in turn resulted in him becoming their powerhouse DH. When he started with them he was platooned, until it was clear what he was doing for them was working. I think that says a lot about how their potential "coaching" helped him become that guy (Juice or no juice). It's not always a guy just "figures it out" by himself. Look at all the talk about the changes Brian Dozier made last year, for example. A lot of that credit is given to Brunansky for helping him make those changes. You're certain that is not the case with Ortiz? Find proof of that for me...

But I digress. I'm definitely looking forward to Sano's MLB debut more than any other player ever. Such a different type of guy for the Twins, and that's going to make it that much more fun watching him!

Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 40, Speed: 40. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but can sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)


#27 Seth Stohs

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 04:41 PM

It's fun reminiscing about the David Ortiz situation, isn't it?

Oh yeah... Miguel Sano...

#28 oldguy10

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 05:38 PM

^^^Great point and rebuttal, Seth. Why bring up Ortiz when the thread is about Sano!

#29 Paul Pleiss

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 05:46 PM

A different kind of question. You called Sano a cornerstone player. I agree, when he comes up he should be successful, and even if he just becomes a power hitting below average third basemen he looks to be a positive player for the Twins for the foreseeable future. My question is this: How long until Miguel Sano has a corner locker in the clubhouse?

#30 Thrylos

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 06:36 PM

I think that the 2 negatives mentioned are very overblown:

In his age 20 season Sano had a 27.4% K% overall. In his age 20 season Harmon Killebrew had a 35.5% K%. I think that Killebrew turned out alright.

About the HR incident:

a. There was bad blood between Sano and the pitcher; from here, referring to a Reusse writeup:

[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial]Sano was promoted from Class A Fort Myers to New Britain on June 9 and joined the lineup on June 12. Lanigan was released from New Britain on June 25. During that two-week period, Sano and Lanigan had a loud confrontation as the Rock Cats were on a road trip.

[/FONT][/COLOR]


b. Lanigan was one of Jeff Smith's favorites. Ask any player in the Twins' organization (in private) who has played for Jeff Smith about how much they like him and what he is all about. I am amazed that he is still with the organization.

c. The Twins should not take the edge out of Sano. A bit of attitude infusion will do wonders for this team.
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