A Look At Minnesota Twins Top Prospect Miguel Sano
There aren’t many sure things in baseball, but Minnesota Twins’ top prospect Miguel Sano is just about as sure as they come. Ever since signing out of the Dominican Republic to a $3.15 million bonus, Sano has been on a tear in the minors and is more than justifying every penny the Twins decided to spend on him.
Miguel Sano is listed at 6’3 tall and between 195lbs – 230lbs, depending on who you ask. But bottom line, Sano is a hulk of a human being. From looking at videos of Sano, courtesy of BaseballInstinct, Sano appears to be have a well rounded athletic body type, though he doesn’t look like he can afford to gain any more weight without sacrificing his athletic ability. At only age 20, Sano may still have more room to grow, and he could end up anywhere between 6’4-6’5 when all is said and done. Sano has monster strength which he translates well into his “Power” Tool and he will only get stronger as he grows bigger.
Sano destroyed the minor leagues to a tune of .373OBP/.893 OPS/28HRS last year as a 19 year old in A Ball and is continuing to do the same this year in AA as a 20 year old, compiling a .344OBP/.915OPS/19HRS thus far since his promotion from A+. Recently in the year, Sano was rated Major League Baseball’s #9 prospect by Baseball America and #12 by MLB.com, this rating could and will climb higher as Sano makes his ascent to the Majors. If he continues his dominance of he minor leagues, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sano at top 3 by this time next year.
Scouting Report (Offense):
Sano is protypical power hitting prospect who has the potential to possess anywhere from 70-80 power depending on which scout you ask. In terms of raw power, there is no question that he could be an effortless 80 power bat, the question however lies with how well he can harness his power. Sano’s hit tool however, is an area that needs some work. The Twins understood that Sano was a “high risk” pick despite his overwhelming tools because Sano had questionable contact abilities. Sano still strikes out at a high rate and while he has improved at every level, he continues to exhibit a lower average than you would like to see from your top prospect. However, Sano has improved at every level and still has a lot of time and room to grow.
In a Fangraphs report, Kiley McDonald has this to say about Sano:
[quote]The thing he does that sets him apart from other sluggers is he keeps his hands pretty low throughout his setup and Sano also doesn’t have a pronounced load. Most hitters have to do both things to create power and give away some contact ability, but Sano doesn’t need to and that’s why he has a chance to be the rare high-average cleanup hitter.
His balanced, quiet yet powerful swing looks a lot like the swings of players Sano could one day be: Miguel Cabrera and Albert Pujols.[/quote]
Sano’s monster strength allows him to get the bat through the zone very quickly, which along with better pitch recognition which he should develop naturally as he continues to play provides a very favorable projection for Sano’s future ability to hit for average as well as power.
Scouting Report (Defense):
Sano was drafted as a 3rd baseman, and would obviously be considered to have “maximized” his defensive potential if he could stick there as a major leaguer. According to BaseballProspectNation, Sano, who’s arm grades out at 50-60, has the arm to stick at 3rd base. However, with the way his body is growing, it is getting increasingly harder to keep Sano on the left side of the infield. If he does come up to the Majors as a 3rd baseman, expect him to be a Average at best. Think Miguel Cabrera.
If Sano does end up not working out at 3rd Base, a move to 1st base or Left Field can be foreseen. Using Sano at DH would be plausible as well, but it would be a waste of Sano’s arm which still grades out as above average and his athleticism.
Opportunity and Summation:
The twins are determined to bring Sano,as with most of their prospects and they are moving him along slowly at about a level a year. The Twins are in no hurry to win and Sano has just turned 20 so their is no reason to rush him. When Sano does arrive though, he should be ready to be an elite level run producer at the top level of baseball whether it be at the Hot Corner or in the Outfield. The Twins have a very special crop of talent in the minors and Sano is amongst the few that headline that crop making him a very special player.