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by Matt Sisk

Let it Sano, Let it Sano, Let it Sano!

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This is a little bit risky. But I have to draw attention to this comparison I am about to make. When the Twins signed Miguel Sano as a 16-ish shortstop from the Dominican Republic back in 2009, he was regarded as the "jewel" of the International Signing Period that year.........

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Just one short year later, the Nationals drafted and signed a 17-year-old Bryce Harper. Sano is just a tick younger (about 7 months) than Harper. But both were highly-touted-blue-chipper types. Harper started his pro career in class A ball where he tore it up. They skipped him up to AA ball, bypassing A+ to finish his first season as a pro. The next season, in 2012 the organization started him in AAA without much statistic success, but quickly promoted him to the bigs where he held his own despite his underwhelming performance at AAA.

Miguel Sano started his pro career one year before Harper in 2010 at the lowest level the Twins have stateside (GCL), despite his reputation as a true baller. He tore up the GCL as a 17-year old, then went bonkers at Elizabethton in 2011 with a .637 SLG%. So, while Harper was struggling through his promotion to AA, Sano was destroying short-season Rookie league.

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In 2012 Sano played an entire year in low-A ball and absolutely destroyed pitchers' ERA's often. He drove in 100 runs and squared-up 28 homers. His batting average does not matter after hearing the HR and RBI numbers. He was again unimpressive on defense, but showed the tools to be effective eventually. While Sano was bashing around in the Midwest League, Harper was playing for the NL All-Star squad.

While Harper was hitting .243 in AAA in 2012, I would imagine that Harper's AAA coaches were saying things like, "I don't care what his stats are, this guy is a PLAYER!" "This guy is on another level." "This guy is ready to produce." Harper was most likely lining balls all over the place, diving and catching, throwing out sleepers, and hustling his tail off.

Now I am not saying that Sano is as good as Bryce Harper, or that he plays as hard as Harper, etc. But I am categorizing Sano as an elite-blue-chipper that is expected to produce at an accelerated rate immediately. Not play his 3rd pro season in its entirety at low-A ball......!

Can we please allow someone that produces at the rate of Sano or Rosario the opportunity to start their Major League professional career at an extremely young age? After all, this is a young man's game, and its not too late to let Sano move quickly in 2013 (meaning multiple level advancement!). Harper was able to contribute to his team winning the NL East, while Sano could only muster a Midwest League play-off run.

To me, MLB experience at a very young age will only help the player develop in the long run. Certain players are special and should be started at a level that reflects their advanced skills. Not coddled at the lower levels for years while they put up dominating, productive numbers that could be helping a higher level succeed. And ultimately, special players should be rushed to Minnesota in a hurried fashion, if you wanna follow the Nationals way of dealing with Harper.

Just to be clear: the Nationals allowed Bryce to use his talents for about 1.2 seasons in the minor leagues before succumbing to the fan base and bringing him up to the Show. Miguel Sano appears to be on the 6-year-plan. Well hey, at least he will hit a ton of minor league homers! And make people happy if he's the beer batter!
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Updated 11-07-2012 at 06:23 PM by mnfanforlife

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