Miguel Sano: 8 Reasons Twins Fans Should Be Ecstatic
Right now in Beloit, Wisc., a 19-year-old holds the future of the Minnesota Twins franchise in his hands and, more importantly, in his bat. Miguel Sano is the Twins top prospect and is dominating Low-A ball, raising the question if he should be promoted up to high-A Fort Myers.
Here's why Twins fans should be excited about Sano.
.287 average, 35 RBI, 24 walks, .406 on-base percentage, .625 slugging percentage, 11 home runs.
All of that in 38 games with the Beloit Snappers. It’s Low-A ball, but numbers don’t lie. Sano is second in the Midwest league in both on-base percentage and slugging. He leads the league in home runs.
Compared to Josh Hamilton (and Joe Mauer)
Here’s a quote from Baseball America’s offseason farm system rankings (via 1500ESPN) about Miguel Sano:
“Elizabethton manager Ray Smith, who has been in the Appy League for more than 20 years, says the only players who have come through the circuit and produced a similar sound off their bat to Sano are Josh Hamilton and Joe Mauer.”
Say what you want about Joe Mauer, but that’s still a very high compliment. Being compared to two of the best players in the MLB right now is always a good thing to have on your resume.
Best Third Baseman in Organization
Remember Corey Koskie? Ever since he left it’s been a black hole at third base for the Twins. For a moment it looked like Danny Valencia might be the answer, but that moment passed, and now he’s down at Triple-A Rochester. Sano has the highest batting average, runs, hits, triples, home runs, RBIs, walks, stolen bases, on-base percentage and slugging percentage in the Twins organization (from Rookie Ball all the way to the MLB). Sano will someday fill that black hole.
Fun fact: Danny Valencia has the second lowest batting average of any third baseman in the Twins organization. The worst average belongs to Sean Burroughs.
He's Got Swag
Miguel Sano is hitting jacks. One of those earlier this year happened to be a walk-off jack. Here’s what happened:
“Sano stood in the batter’s box awhile to watch his homer against relief pitcher Carmine Giardiana. He trotted the bases, but virtually stopped a few feet before touching the plate, taking off his batting helmet as Kernels catcher Abel Baker barked at him.
Sano glared at the Kernels dugout after finally touching the plate, with Kernels players continuing to give him significant grief. He took a step toward Baker, and the dugouts began to empty, with umpires Fernando Rodriguez and Paul Clemons, as well as both teams’ coaching staffs, doing a good job of squelching what could have been an ugly scene.”
It’s not bad to have a little fire. If a confrontation would have happened, this is a totally different story, but nothing did. Fire is always welcome; it might just help a struggling team like the Twins.
Fun Fact: The opposing manager of the game was Jamie Burke, the White Sox catcher Torii Hunter blew up in 2004.
Terry Ryan's Blessing
People are starting to notice Sano and his incredible power. Terry Ryan was asked if Sano will make his way out of Beloit and to High-A Fort Myers anytime soon:
“He'll have a chance. I'm not sure he's quite ready, but when he's ready. ... I hope we do move him (up). I think all of us would like to see him move (up)."
I guess Terry Ryan’s blessing is only good in the eye of the beholder. I mean, Bill Smith is still taking all of the blame for this current mess, right?
Most Power in Organization
Baseball America ranks every teams' best tools of the farm system; Miguel Sano was labeled “Best Power Hitter.” Miguel Sano is proving Baseball America right. Sano has the most home runs organization-wide with 11, second is Twins’ left fielder Josh Willingham.
On Base Plus Slugging…Amazing
Statistics became so important in the recent years because of the popularity of fantasy sports. Kids don’t memorize the stats on the back of baseball cards anymore; young to middle age men are analyzing them to win their fantasy team. On-base plus slugging is a newer stat, but it’s one worth looking at.
Miguel Sano has a 1.031 OPS. A good OPS is .800, and it’s very good if you’re over that 1.000 mark. Sano leads the organization with that 1.031; second place belongs to Josh Willingham and his .992 OPS.
What else should Twins fans be excited for?
The future, Conan?
The future. That’s really all the Twins and Twins fans have to look forward to. Brian Dozier is up on the big league squad all ready, and there looks to be some nice prospects coming up in the pipeline. In the big scheme of things, Twins fans might not have to wait too long for Sano. Baseball America predicts he’ll be the Twins starting third baseman by 2015.