Back in 2009, the Minnesota Twins inked a 16 year old from the Dominican Republic. He was one of the most coveted young players, and the Twins were the team that weathered the storm that was age discrepancies and contract negotiations. Fast forward to today, and Miguel Sano is in the midst of making a monster splash at the big league level.
The Twins selected a high-schooler with their 2nd overall pick in the 2012 Major League Baseball draft. Although it was Byron Buxton that immediately became baseball's top prospect, it was Sano's bat that Twins fans marveled at. A big bodied kid with plenty of frame to add onto, the visions of mammoth home runs taking over Target Field ran rampant. While the first home run has not yet come, it's safe to say Sano has impressed mightily over the course of his first four big league games.
Owning a career .278/.373/.564 slash line in 445 minor league games, Sano has always been regarded more for his power than his average. With 105 minor league home runs under his belt, the strength was no doubt expected to play at the highest level. Owning a 491/230 strikeout to walk ratio however, Twins fans new they would have to put up with some swing and miss tendencies. Thanks to a 23 game stretch from May 30 through June 29, in which Sano hit .333/.430/.643 with six home runs and 18 RBI, the big club deemed he was ready for the next challenge.
Serving solely as the designated hitter in his first four games for the Twins, Sano has added every bit of the big bat in the middle of the lineup that Minnesota had hoped for. Owning a .400/.438/.533 slash line with two doubles and two RBI, Sano has provided plenty of excitement. As expected, the strikeout rate has also played as Sano has whiffed five times while drawing just one walk.
No doubt a limited sample size, it's hard to suggest what is to come for Sano with the Twins in 2015. As a young hitter though, just 22 years old, the hot start is not at all a bad thing. Knowing that he will be in the lineup solely for his bat into the foreseeable future, momentum will continue to reign supreme. Now heading home for the first time in his career, Sano will look to break in his new confines.
As the Twins have witnessed, big hitters can make Target Field look very small. Miguel Sano has all of the ability to be one of those big hitters for the Twins in the middle of the lineup for many years to come. Settling into his new role prior to the All Star Break, and continuing his immediate hot streak should prove valuable. Making some adjustments and spending some time assessing his first week and a half in the big leagues during the break should be valuable for the young DH.
Despite suggestions that the organization wanted to wait until later in the season to get Sano to the big leagues, he's arrived on his own accord, and the bat that propelled him there looks poised to stay.