Friday, August 14, 2015

Sano Is More Than A Superstar For The Twins

July 2nd, 2015 is a day that will likely go down in the archives of the Minnesota Twins history books. With Minnesota looking to capitalize on some early-season, out-of-nowhere success that had them in the middle of a Wild Card race, the organization called on a 22-year-old prospect. Miguel Sano made his major league debut, and since, there's been no turning back.

I was under the impression that Sano's power was real, that in and of itself was pretty evident. The expectation that he could have started the season with the Twins and clubbed 20+ home runs was a pretty fair assessment. He probably would have hit around the Mendoza Line, but the power was going to play. What he has done though, is something that makes him so much more than the Twins next superstar.

To this point in the season, Sano owns a .284 average and has a .949 OPS. In just 34 games, he's crushed seven home runs (with one multi-home run game). Sano has accumulated 10 doubles, and has plated 25 runs. While he's struck out a healthy amount (47 times in 141 plate appearances), he's also walked a respectable amount (23). As a whole, Sano's production has equaled a 1.1 fWAR mark. That fraction of a season sample size is impressive, but it carries some real weight when given a full season look.

Averaged out across 162 games, Miguel Sano's pace is as follows: .284 avg 81 runs 157 hits 48 doubles 33 home runs and 119 runs batted in. It all adds up to a 5.2 fWAR (or one of the top 25 best players in the game).

Those numbers alone put Sano into another realm of stardom. Minnesota has not had a 30+ home run output since 2012 (Josh Willingham 35), and while Brian Dozier is on pace to join the club this season, it's Sano who profiles as a yearly producer. His 119 RBI would be the most since Justin Morneau plated 129 runs in 2008. Most impressively, it's not the numbers alone that elevate Sano for the Twins.

Sano is a charismatic individual that has the personality to be the face of a franchise. With Joe Mauer stepping aside to usher in the next wave of youth, the Twins young stars will become the emulated ballplayers of the future. Sano's smile, personality, and approach to the game is everything Terry Ryan and the Twins could have possibly hoped for.

As Miguel Sano continues to settle into the rigors of the big league lifestyle, he will only become more comfortable. What once looked like an exciting power hitting prospect, is rounding out to be one of the best young players in the game right before our eyes.

What may make things even all that much more exciting for Twins fans is the fact that an even bigger name is preparing to break loose. His name, Byron Buxton.

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