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Miguel Sano How Soon Is Now?


jokin
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While Kennys Vargas has been recalled, as the Twins FO inevitably acknowledged that the current status quo for the Twins offense was untenable, how long will they maintain the 13 man pitching staff, if it becomes obvious that even more potential offensive production is needed?

 

Although it seems impossible that Miguel Sano can do anything "quietly", without much fanfare, he has put up a very impressive set of numbers since his very slow start coming off of the 1.5 year layoff. And yet, the Twins are on record saying he's still not ready, overall. Rob Antony even acknowledged that he hasn't even begun working on OF throwing drills (with the presumption that a 2015 call-up would entail that Sano be assigned to a corner OF spot). But is he getting OH SO CLOSE to ready at the plate?

 

Consider these numbers, through April 29, a very rusty Sano put up an entirely-expected sub-optimal line in AA of this:

 

.150/.292/.333/(.625) ISO .183 wOBA .304 K% 27.8% LD% 12% OFB% 43.9%

 

Here are his 2013 numbers in AA (276 PAs):

 

.236/.344/.571/(.915) ISO .335 wOBA .397 K% 29.3% LD% 14.8% OFB 46.9%

 

 

Since April 30 (134 PAs):

 

.316/.396/.588/(.983) ISO .272 wOBA .439 K% 22.4% LD% 29.2% OFB% 31.4%

 

After seeing Chattanooga play in early May, after watching Sano hit 4 OF deep flies at or near the wall, I wrote that part of Sano's troubles to that point of the season were possibly due in part to the high OF wall in the home park, plus prevailing winds in the park situated atop the city summit, that primarily blow in from LF and CF. Now refer back above and especially look now at the stats on the right side of the above batting lines, he's made significant adjustments from the first month. Pitchers have greatly reduced balls in the zone to Sano, from 50.5% in April to 36.5% since. But no matter, Sano is striking out much less even as he's swinging more (swing rate of 42% vs. 40.5% in April), all the while, he's really, really focusing on driving the ball. Yep, the ISO is down, so the HR rate is down, vs. the 2013 numbers in New Britain, but the results for this new version of Sano are still very impressive.

 

Sano's opponents are trying to make him chase out of the zone, and yet Sano has become even a better hitter of late. Can the Twins continue to keep Sano down if he continues anything close to this pace over the next month or so?

Edited by jokin
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Sano's HR%:

Career: 5.9%
AA (2013): 6.9% (career high)
AA (April, 2013): 5.3%
AA (Since then): 4.7%
AA 2013 full: 4.9%

 

The most interesting thing to me is where he plays.  Do you move him directly to DH?  He has DH'd twice and played 3B every other game he has played.    I would say either Plouffe is traded before he comes up or we aren't in a rush.

 

You can't just give him a glove and say get after it in RF and I don't think we are going to give up on his defense this quick.

Edited by tobi0040
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The most interesting thing to me is where he plays.  Do you move him directly to DH?  He has DH'd twice and played 3B every other game he has played.    I would say either Plouffe is traded before he comes up or we aren't in a rush.

 

You can't just give him a glove and say get after it in RF and I don't think we are going to give up on his defense this quick.

Is putting him in the OF, ala Danny Santana in 2014, actually "giving up on his defense"? Moving Santana to CF last year was a stop-gap, desperation move to get through a stretch where there were literally no other options- and on a losing team going nowhere. Moving Sano to the OF for the remainder of 2015 could be a strategic shot of genius for a pennant-contender if his hit tool translates quickly.

 

(Like Mike though, I'm not counting on my scenario as likely to happen anytime in the near future, barring injury).

Edited by jokin
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Is putting him in the OF, ala Danny Santana in 2014, actually "giving up on his defense"? Moving Santana to CF last year was a stop-gap, desperation move to get through a stretch where there were literally no other options- and on a losing team going nowhere. Moving Sano to the OF for the remainder of 2015 could be a strategic shot of genius for a pennant-contender if his hit tool translates quickly.

(Like Mike though, I'm not counting on my scenario as likely to happen anytime in the near future, barring injury).

 

It is one thing in a throw away year to take a 170 pound guy and move him from the most athletic position….

 

It is another thing to take a 240 pound, defensive project at 3B and move him to the outfield when you are in first place.  I am not saying he could not play there, but if that was the plan I think he would be getting some reps there. 

 

Not to mention Sano is a much more important player in the future.  So his moves won't be as willy nilly.

Edited by tobi0040
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It is one thing in a throw away year to take a 170 pound guy and move him from the most athletic position….

 

It is another thing to take a 240 pound, defensive project at 3B and move him to the outfield when you are in first place.  I am not saying he could not play there, but if that was the plan I think he would be getting some reps there. 

 

Not to mention Sano is a much more important player in the future.  So his moves won't be as willy nilly.

Well it seems pretty clear, that's most certainly not the plan, at least yet, anyway.

 

But the plan for this year, assuming the Twins remain serious about winning, and with the offense seemingly at least one bat short, seems destined to be derailed if the "much more important player in the future" has summarily been dismissed as being able to somehow fit into a difference-making role in the present. This shouldn't be "willy nilly", I'm kind-of disappointed, but not surprised, that a back-up plan for a full shift to "win-now" mode isn't already operative. It's not like the public, and I'm sure, the Twins, haven't been engaged in the Plouffe/Sano, "What are the contingency options?" debate for the last 4 seasons.

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Is putting him in the OF, ala Danny Santana in 2014, actually "giving up on his defense"? Moving Santana to CF last year was a stop-gap, desperation move to get through a stretch where there were literally no other options- and on a losing team going nowhere. Moving Sano to the OF for the remainder of 2015 could be a strategic shot of genius for a pennant-contender if his hit tool translates quickly.(Like Mike though, I'm not counting on my scenario as likely to happen anytime in the near future, barring injury).

Or they could have put Santana at short last year in that useless season, and found out what they had or did not have. A year under his belt there maybe would have change his start this year. One will never know!
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I think the only way Sano works at the MLB level right now is if Sano and Mauer rotate at DH, Sano and Plouffe rotate at 3B and Plouffe and Mauer rotate at 1B. 

 

I can't imagine teaching him another position will happen quick enough for a pre-August call up.

 

I'm not a Mauer basher, but he really is the keystone roadblock for all of these OF and corner IF prospects.

Edited by nicksaviking
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Dougie was quoted extensively recently, I think, and made his view quite clear that both Sano and Buxton have things they need to master before they're ready to have success in MLB.

Yup, in actuality, Dougie clearly stated the corporate line for public consumption for the time being, I just hope that when "push-comes-to-shove" MLB readiness and MLB need are both extremely obvious, that they still won't refuse to pull the trigger

Edited by jokin
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He needs to be a better all around player than Plouffe before he gets the call; right now, not the case. I'm fine with him staying on the farm all year, with maybe a cup in September. He missed all of last season, and he only just turned 22. He could be a perennial All-Star if the Twins work on developing him as an all-around hitter and good fielder. 

 

(This is an example of "cooler heads prevail"  :) )

 

BTW, his current manager was a magician with the glove; I am happy with Sano learning something at this point

Edited by Monkeypaws
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He needs to be a better all around player than Plouffe before he gets the call; right now, not the case. I'm fine with him staying on the farm all year, with maybe a cup in September. He missed all of last season, and he only just turned 22. He could be a perennial All-Star if the Twins work on developing him as an all-around hitter and good fielder. 

 

(This is an example of "cooler heads prevail"  :) )

 

BTW, his current manager was a magician with the glove; I am happy with Sano learning something at this point

1) But this is true, only if it's a strict Plouffe vs. Sano comparison, and/or if they somehow think they can get fair value in a trade for Plouffe before the deadline (As proposed above, given the Twins track record, it seems more likely that they'll end up offering him an extension).

 

2) What does "cooler heads" have to do with bringing up your best players in a pennant race if there's a chance that they can help remedy a glaring deficiency?

 

3) Are you suggesting that Dougie has had Sano slip on that firstbaseman's mitt a few times for some special sessions?

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Oddly enough, it all depends on Miguel Sano's athleticism. He's listed as 6'4", 260 pounds in the Lookouts roster. Can he run faster than Kennys Vargas? Fast enough to make a reasonable corner outfielder? If not, then he'd be a liability at 3rd, where Pouffe is now thriving. He could compete with Vargas as DH, but Vargas has a distinct advantage of more experience, and he's a legit switch hitter.

 

That mostly leaves 1st base, where Joe Mauer is. Sano's probably got the glove for it, and definitely has the bat for it. When do you want the Twins to bench Joe Mauer? Pinch hitter? DH? Platoon at 1st, along with Sano and Vargas?

 

Tough decisions indeed.

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Nice post jokin. Some interesting data points and trends. If it were just about the bat, I'd guess he'd be up in a week or two.  But with Plouffe providing quality defense and quality offense (although certainly not Sano's potential offense) and Sano's defense still a work in progress, and lacking any other obvious defensive position, I'd say Sept. 1, as DH backup 3B.

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Nice post jokin. Some interesting data points and trends. If it were just about the bat, I'd guess he'd be up in a week or two.  But with Plouffe providing quality defense and quality offense (although certainly not Sano's potential offense) and Sano's defense still a work in progress, and lacking any other obvious defensive position, I'd say Sept. 1, as DH backup 3B.

Yep. I would make your prediction for Sano's promotion schedule the odds-on favorite. (Again, not what I would want to see, of all of the in-house bat option additions going into July, he is #1 with no close second, in my order of preference).

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Oddly enough, it all depends on Miguel Sano's athleticism. He's listed as 6'4", 260 pounds in the Lookouts roster. Can he run faster than Kennys Vargas? Fast enough to make a reasonable corner outfielder? If not, then he'd be a liability at 3rd, where Pouffe is now thriving. He could compete with Vargas as DH, but Vargas has a distinct advantage of more experience, and he's a legit switch hitter.

 

That mostly leaves 1st base, where Joe Mauer is. Sano's probably got the glove for it, and definitely has the bat for it. When do you want the Twins to bench Joe Mauer? Pinch hitter? DH? Platoon at 1st, along with Sano and Vargas?

 

Tough decisions indeed.

Sano is way better athletically than Vargas, it's not even close.

 

Sano might end up eventually ballooning to a Prince Fielder XXXX jersey, but right now, the still XX, but increasingly growing to 2-ton gorilla, is at 1st base through 2018.

Edited by jokin
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Yup, in actuality, Dougie clearly stated the corporate line for public consumption for the time being, I just hope that when "push-comes-to-shove" MLB readiness and MLB need are both extremely obvious, that they still won't refuse to pull the trigger

 

 

Not a chance that Dougie was spouting some sort of "corporate line". He said it and he meant it. He's a reliable judge right now on the readiness of Sano, and if I recall, he basically said Sano would get chewed up and spit out right now. Hardly the kind of message one would send if one were obligated to pass along a "corporate line".

 

We can be confident that the Twins will see the question of MLB readiness and MLB need much much differently than us, though.

Edited by birdwatcher
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Not a chance that Dougie was spouting some sort of "corporate line". He said it and he meant it. He's a reliable judge right now on the readiness of Sano, and if I recall, he basically said Sano would get chewed up and spit out right now. Hardly the kind of message one would send if one were obligated to pass along a "corporate line.

He probably is a good judge, but he's paid to watch Twins baseball, I doubt he's presently and actively scouting Sano. I also don't think there is any reporter more tied into Terry Ryan, he gets quotes from him like they're candy and it's always Halloween. I can't imagine Wolfson is writting about Sano's readiness without getting input from Ryan or someone in the organization.

 

Not that Doogie/Ryan are neccisarily wrong.

Edited by nicksaviking
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1) But this is true, only if it's a strict Plouffe vs. Sano comparison, and/or if they somehow think they can get fair value in a trade for Plouffe before the deadline (As proposed above, given the Twins track record, it seems more likely that they'll end up offering him an extension).

2) What does "cooler heads" have to do with bringing up your best players in a pennant race if there's a chance that they can help remedy a glaring deficiency?

3) Are you suggesting that Dougie has had Sano slip on that firstbaseman's mitt a few times for some special sessions?

2. What is the deficinecy at 3rd base?

 

3. Mint was an excellent corner infielder, who probably can help players in similar positions.

 

1. Why trade one of youur best players for a future hope? I wanna see Sano make this a no-brainer, and he hasn't, either at the plate or in the field.

 

For now, Plouffe is better, even if he isn't hitting moon-shots. Let the kid become complete without ML pressure.

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He needs to be a better all around player than Plouffe before he gets the call; right now, not the case. I'm fine with him staying on the farm all year, with maybe a cup in September. He missed all of last season, and he only just turned 22. He could be a perennial All-Star if the Twins work on developing him as an all-around hitter and good fielder. 

 

(This is an example of "cooler heads prevail"  :) )

 

BTW, his current manager was a magician with the glove; I am happy with Sano learning something at this point

i don't think it's possible for a player with zero major league experience be better than a top 10 major league player
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When I read posts advocating Sano to be called up I don't know whether to be    :banghead:  or :angry: or :rolleyes: or some combination.

I know my view is not a universally held opinion, and may not even be a majority opinion but I say cool your jets. He's not ready. Dude is barely 22. He missed all last year. He's doing OK in AA. Not bad, not great, but OK. He has never prepared to play any position other than 3B and the Twins don't have an urgent need for a 3B right now. The record of the major league team should not have any bearing whatsoever on when he is called up. A baseball player can be set back big time by being called up too soon. If Plouffe, Escobar, Nunez and Bernier all have season-ending injuries, then maybe there'd be no choice, but barring something like that he'll be in the minors until he's ready. 

Edited by spinowner
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1) But this is true, only if it's a strict Plouffe vs. Sano comparison, and/or if they somehow think they can get fair value in a trade for Plouffe before the deadline (As proposed above, given the Twins track record, it seems more likely that they'll end up offering him an extension).

2) What does "cooler heads" have to do with bringing up your best players in a pennant race if there's a chance that they can help remedy a glaring deficiency?

3) Are you suggesting that Dougie has had Sano slip on that firstbaseman's mitt a few times for some special sessions?

 

Why in the world would a team in a pennant race trade one of their better players for an unproven AA prospect?  Sano is not better than Plouffe right now.  Trading Plouffe is a move for the long term at the expense of the short term.  The same would be true installing Sano in RF.  It might not be true at DH, but I think you can argue that Vargas is more ready now. 

 

I fail to see how this is some sort of corporate line coming from Dougie.  The man sees Sano play every day, which is more than anyone on this board.  Sano will get his shot, but I have no problems making him earn it.  I'd note, that's how Dougie lost his job too... Morneau flat out took it from him. 

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He probably is a good judge, but he's paid to watch Twins baseball, I doubt he's presently and actively scouting Sano. I also don't think there is any reporter more tied into Terry Ryan, he gets quotes from him like they're candy and it's always Halloween. I can't imagine Wolfson is writting about Sano's readiness without getting input from Ryan or someone in the organization.

Not that Doogie/Ryan are neccisarily wrong.

 

 

Sorry nick, should have been clearer that I'm referring to Mientkewicz, and not Doogie.

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