Miguel Sano’s Career Stats from MiLB.com
The Minnesota Twins have called up their #2 prospect Miguel Sano from their Double-A affiliate Chattanooga Lookouts. Add Miguel to the list of top 10 prospects* already called up this season by the Twins, Eddie Rosario(#8), Jorge Polanco(#4), Alex Meyer(#10) and Byron Buxton(#1.) Although he’s listed as the #2 prospect, he might be the most anticipated prospect to come up for the Twins in a very long time and maybe ever because of what he can do with the bat in his hands.
*Rankings from TwinsDaily.com
Miguel Sano is one of those prospects that changes a franchise, a player a team can build around because he changes the game. The stats will show it a little bit but there’s nothing like actually seeing it happen. Most of us have not had the pleasure of seeing him play other than on the highlight videos. Now we should be able to watch him every day on live television and at Target Field. That should bring even more fans out to see these Twins.
Unfortunately, in order to keep track of your favorite organization’s minor league teams and prospects, you really have to rely mostly on the stats. We do have many options of what we can look at though. You actually can tell a lot from the stats, especially if you dig into the splits and game logs of any player. Just looking at the total stats might not paint the full picture.
This season is a good example of why just looking at the total stats doesn’t tell you the whole picture. Unless you’ve been paying attention to Miguel Sano the whole season, you wouldn’t know how he struggled early and how he’s recovered from those struggles and developed into a better hitter and player. Looking at the monthly splits is a good start but digging into the game logs can provide a better look into his season and see where he may have started getting on a roll.
The Sano Splits*
Spreadsheet with some split stats of Miguel Sano’s AA season in 2015
After missing the entire 2014 season to repair his right arm with Tommy John surgery, it took Miguel a while to get back in the swing of things (Pardon the pun.) He hit .159/.303/.381 (AVG/OBP/SLG)* in April going 10-for-63 with 2 doubles, 4 home runs, 9 RBIs with 12 walks and 22 strikeouts in 18 games. He had more than one hit in only one of those games. A year off is sure to mess with your swing, your timing, your eye at the plate and just about anything to do with playing the game.
*Average/On-Base Percentage/Slugging Percentage also known as a player’s triple slash.
And then the calendar turned. Miguel was 3-for-17 in the first 5 games of May with one double and one home run but “on the 7th day…”, Miguel Sano went 3-for-5 for his 1st multi-hit game in 15 games and only 2nd of the season. All three hits were singles but 2 games later he would go 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and a walk. Next game, 2 hits, a double and 4 RBIs. That turned into an 11-game stretch where he hit .385/.458/.718. He was 15-for-39 with 4 doubles, 3 home runs, 8 RBIs with 7 walks & 8 strikeouts. He would go 0-for-8 with 6 strikeouts in the next two games but that didn’t stop him from Sano-ing the ball.
From May 7th until June 29th, Miguel Sano slashed .329/.413/.621 going 53-for-161 with 15 doubles, 1 triple, 10 HRs and 36 RBIs scoring 41 runs while drawing 23 walks and striking out 40 times. That raised his season triple slash from .163/.299/.388 to .274/.374/.544. That’s a good run, huh?
On June 10th, Jorge Polanco was called up for one game with the Twins and on June 14th, Byron Buxton was called up. It’s safe to say Miguel Sano seeing his teammates called up before him might have served as some motivation to turn it up even more. In 16 games from June 10th to June 29th he went 21-for-61 with 8 doubles, 5 HRs and 13 RBIs with 10 walks and 16 strikeouts. He also scored 17 runs. That’s an average of .344, an on-base percentage of .438 and a slugging percentage of .721. Not hard to figure out why the Twins promoted him, right?
*Doing the splits in the snow is very dangerous! It’s slippery and IT’S THE SPLITS! Why would you even want to do that? Don’t try it at home or anywhere really! I don’t even like thinking about it!
Are there any reasons for concern with Miguel Sano, things that could cause him to struggle in the Majors? There’s always something, right? The high number of strikeouts is an easy target to zero in on and, of course, you can’t talk about strikeouts without bringing up walks. He has improved in both areas so far this season, increasing his walk percentage and lowering his strikeout percentage.
How ‘bout the glove? He’s had a lot of errors while playing at 3rd base in the minors, 15 in 2015 while playing 3rd base for 63 games in Chattanooga. This may be why the Twins are bringing him up to replace Kennys Vargas as the Designated Hitter. That way he can concentrate on his at-bats and not have to worry about his defense. I’m sure he’ll get some chances at the hot corner though. He’s a 3rd baseman, not a DH. Trevor Plouffe had to work on his defense for a few years to become the solid 3rd baseman he is now.
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P.S. Do yourself a favor and watch Pelotero, the documentary about what Dominican baseball players go through to become ballplayers. It follows the signing of Miguel Sano and what he went through to achieve his Big-League dream. It’s very good and it’s on Netflix.