Miguel Sano. If the Twins former top prospect can finally maintain success in the big leagues, the Twins will have the season every Twins fan wants to see. Over the last four years, the Minnesota Twins have finished over .500 twice. In both of those years Sano enjoyed success with a combined AVG of .266, an OPS of .887, an average of 23 homers and 65 RBIs. All of this while Sano was averaging just 97 games (minor leagues and injury). If Sano keeps that production up for even 140 game he will be a no doubt all star. The problem is Sano has not been consistent at all. In the other two years (2016 and 2018) Sano only combined for an average of a .217 BA, a .730 OPS, 19 homers and 53 RBIs while averaging 94 games (played his most in 2016 and least in 2018.) He has proven he has the skills to do it, now he has to be able to prove he has the mentality and work ethic to become the player he is supposed to be.
Miguel’s 2018 was the exact opposite of what Twins fans and front office were hoping for as he came into spring training extremely overweight from an off-season with little work put in. The season reflected this exact attitude as he could only play in 71 games, largely due to the fact he was sent to the lowest level of the minors for a month. The demotion to A+ ball was meant to improve his plate discipline, his strikeout rate, his conditioning and his mindset. His 2019 season will be the one to prove whether that move worked or not. Miguel is projected only a .233 AVG with 18 homers and 52 RBIs. If this performance were true, I don’t think the Twins make the playoffs.
The Twins new manager Rocco Baldelli and the signing of slugger Nelson Cruz look to be very good for Sano. Cruz is basically the same type of player Sano could be or hopefully even better. The Twins will be hoping for Cruz to take a leadership role and put Miguel under his wing. Cruz should help because he is known to be a great clubhouse guy for the Twins to get along with really well. Another component to Sano’s development will be new manager Rocco Baldelli. The Twins manager recently flew out to the Dominican Republic just to meet one on one with his new third baseman. That is something Paul Molitor probably wouldn’t have done. The fact that this newly hired manager took the time out of his own life to go fly down just to speak to one player speaks a thousand words in itself. Seeing that the manager seems to connect well with young players gives me hope for the Twins future for a while.
Overall I believe Sano will be ready to have the season we are all waiting for. Everything should final,y click for him and I can even see him making the all star game again. I would project him to hit for a .273 AVG with 35homers and 95+ RBIs. Of course the risk in Sano is just as likely as the reward. I’ve just got a feeling we will begin to see the projected ceiling for Sano begin to show. Either way, it’ll be exciting to see how it plays out.
Thank you for reading my 5th position outlook of 2019 and be sure to go read my other articles and check back everyday.If you enjoyed please leave a like and share with your friends. If you have any feedback or other opinions feel free to let me know.
Websites used: (baseball-reference.com) (rotochamp.com)