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Minor League Update: Taking a Look at Miguel Sano

Rob Carr

This past week, 1500 Espn posted an article about Miguel Sano claiming he's ready for the big leagues during Spring Training. While Sano's numbers have looked great in the minor leagues thus far, it's a bit of a stretch to say he'd be ready for every day play with the club.

When he was asked by Derek Wetmore when he thought he'd get the call - not when he thought he would be ready - his response was "I believe September, May, June...I'm ready, you know? I'm going to work hard, the Twins take the decision when I play in the Major Leagues." It's not surprising that after his continued success, Sano feels ready to take on the Bigs, but looking more in-depth at some of his minor league numbers may tell a different story.

In his 1606 plate appearances in the minors, Sano has hit a career .279 with 90 home runs and 291 RBI. That 90 HR means he's hitting a dinger every 18 plate appearances (or so). His career ISO is an impressive .325, to add to the talent. If that were to actually be able to translate to the majors, it would be incredible. We all know, however, that minor league numbers often do not translate when the player reaches the Bigs.

Sano's potential is obviously pretty high, as he's basically murdered the ball at every level of A-ball he's been at so far, but the pitching he's facing now -- and the pitching he had been facing at low-A ball as well -- is nowhere near the talent he'll be seeing when he joins the club.

One of the biggest problems we hear about Sano, though, is his defense, and that's a considerable issue for the Twins to consider when it comes time to make that call up for the young Dominican. Sano says he's working hard on defense now, and said that errors happen, "errors are for players". While this is true, with his bigger, bulkier frame this Spring, he's facing an even larger challenge on improving those defensive skills. And lest you worry about Sano's frame, his agent did say that he'll be dropping some of his 260+-lb. frame by the end of Spring Training this season, and that he was told to not exercise in the offseason due to his surgery. In the meantime, however, it is something to think about when it comes to his defensive skills.

The Twins have an interesting dilemma with the young infielder. He obviously has the skills and talent to succeed in the minors (enough to rank #6 on Baseball America's minor league players list), but the question of when to call him up will be the biggest issue. He obviously needs the playing time to work on defense and playing in the field, but it might be good for him to face big league pitching and fielding issues as well.

I do think we'll see Sano as a call-up come September, and I'd be very surprised if he were to be called up before then, but I'd like to hear what you think; do we see Sano in the Bigs before September this year? Do his talents translate to the major league level? Will he continue to rake in the minors this year?

Also, here's a video of Sano taking some swings against Mike Pelfrey, just because that's fun.