You can view the page at http://www.twinsdaily.com/content.ph...o-Let-it-Sano!
You can view the page at http://www.twinsdaily.com/content.ph...o-Let-it-Sano!
I definitely have my thoughts, but I thought it would be interesting to hear other people's opinions before I weigh in with mine...
While his average isn't a huge deal his swings and misses are a huge deal when talking about moving a guy to the majors. 144 times in low A doesn't cry out ready for the Majors. You didn't even bring up that the guy has no true position in the field and at this point will probably be a RF, DH or 1B guy. 3B is highly dubious. If he can't play 3rd it limits his upside. Byron Buxton is most likely the Twins top prospect and then Sano. We bring up Sano and waste his service time when he's not ready. He isn't close to the prospect Harper is. Not even close. Hopefully Sano will be ready for some big league ball by 2015.
My point was that, in my opinion, when you push a top-prospect to a level out of their comfort zone (like in Haprer's case), they are more MLB ready quicker. And I would say that Harper and Sano are comparable when it comes to offensive production. Harper is better, but Sano is close. Closer than you would admit. We will never know how good Sano is at this age, since he hasnt been pushed at all through the minor league system, despite his status as an elite prospect.
Sano will likely be a DH in the majors. So Harper has a big advantage there.
i have never bought into the stance that you hurt a young man to let him struggle a bit as you let him compete at the level that pushes him. you see it happen too often for other teams.... but the twins tend to bury their guys. or maybe.... they just don't pick as well as they promote they do, and don't have the minor league system they claim. how can it be worse than watching a team lose 99 and 96 2 years in row? you never know if you don't give them a shot. right anthony slama?
You have your conservative approach....which is the Twins (minors are important & dont hurt your minor league teams to improve yourself....ok a lil tuff but).
The other approach is that players are ONLY in the minors to get them ready to help out the MLB team.
I didnt comlain too much last yr on Sano AS I compare him to Miguel Cabrera, who was called up in July of his 20th bday season (next yr for Sano). Miguel did a half year at High A/half at AA, so next year is where I am gonna be critical of MN on the promotions (of course IF Sano deserves it).
We seem to have these debates about promoting prospects all the time. Why did you pick Harper as a comp? Maybe Delmon Young would be a better comp. He was a guy who didn't have a defensive position, was a highly regarded prospect, was promoted very quickly, and has never really come close to fullfilling his promise.
Here's the thing. When the Twins have a prospect who deserves to be promoted quickly (Mauer, Kubel), they promote them quickly. I believe Sano may very well be a super prospect, but he had struggles at times last year. His numbers really never screamed Promote Me. I suspect that he begins at Fort Myers next spring. If he dominates, he goes to AA. If he dominates there, he goes to AAA. More likely he moves slower than that, because they won't want to give him more than he can handle.
Most times prospects dictate where they play by how they play.
Delmon is a decent comparison for Sano, but Delmon was pushed through the minors quickly like Harper. Delmon played in AAA at age 19. Sano just finished low-A ball at 19. So that isnt a fair comparison either.
We will never know what type of impact Sano could have created in the Majors as a 19 yr-old like Harper or other uber-prospects. But, it definitely generates some conversation. And I would rather side with those that think pushing a top-prospect up quickly is in everyone's best interest, than side with those that want to save on MLB service time and all that yuck yuck. As a teacher, you push kids into their "zone of proximal development." And Sano has not been challenged or in his "zone" by any means. He has been a jewel in a league full of rocks the last two years.
I agree that both Harper and Sano are elite level talent, but from there we have two different players.
1) Harper is as equally advanced in the field as he is at the plate. Sano if promoted too quickly now, would end up being a career DH. He needs a chance to advance as a fielder. It will only hurt him in the long run to slot him into a DH only position.
2) Harper grew up in the US and speaks english. As much as learning the game, Sano has had to learn about life in the US and adjust what a ballplayers life is like away from the diamond. We would be setting him up for failure to stick him on a huge stage before he has the maturity to deal with it.
3) Sano has specific things to work on even at the low A level in terms of both field and hitting. You can learn from success and failure. He is seeing both at his current level in the organization.
Would I like to see him play at Hi-A to start next year and finish the season at AA? sure, but he will need to earn it by cutting down on his strikeouts and improving his fielding.
Honestly, i would have liked to see him skip Elizabethton and play in Beloit as an 18-yr-old. Then get into the Florida State league last year (2012), and have a fighting chance as a 20-yr-old to get a September call-up. I think he would have been ready for this type of schedule, but we will never know.
I'm not at all ready to say the Twins are moving Sano too slowly. He put up very good power numbers in Low A (and was still a good 2 years younger than the average player there), but he struggled with the defensive side of the game, and he struggled making contact at times, he had a couple of pretty big slumps. And, there have always been maturity questions about Sano (which I heard he greatly improved this year).
I see them moving him at the Mauer/Revere pace, which is incredibly quickly. But he's going to have to warrant that promotion next year.
yes those guys are rare exceptions. I was really hoping that Sano was going to be one of those rare types. But he is just a tick below that status.
One other point, regarding Harper, is that Washington was a contending team that needed him in the outfield. The Twins aren't very good and don't really need another CI/DH type right now.
Letting Sano develop in the low minors can only help his confidence and help enhance his tools. I'd prefer to see prospects skip higher levels, rather than the lower levels. That is just my preference though.
For what its worth I saw Sano in June for a couple games, and if I remember right it was before he had hit any of his big slumps. Anyway, he didn't look at all like a guy that would've been able to handle any sort of advanced pitching at that point. He was very Pedro Cerrano-esque, straight ball hit it very much. Curveball, bats are afraid. I don't think he even made contact with and breaking pitch, and took several for strikes.
I think his numbers were probably more a product of a guy who can absolutely punish mistakes, which are plentiful in Low-A. That said he seemed to have decent approach in that he knew he could wait to try and get in a good count and then hit straight ball. However, that approach will not play so well at higher levels.
Not to be entirely negative, I still think he has tons of potential and love that he's in our system and am very excited about him. But from my view, he didn't really look like a guy that should be on an highly accelerated timeline, especially with the lack of defensive value.
I think I remember either Kevin Goldstein or Jason Parks on an Up and In podcast early in the season hypothesizing on how Sano would do in the Majors. If I remember right, they thought he would hit about .100 and strike out over 300 times. Now, they are obviously just theorizing, but that might not be all that far off. He did strike out 140 times against Low A pitching.
This isn't even a critique of his skills, just where he was in his development before the season. He'll work out those issues as he ages and develops.
Comparing Sano to Harper is tough for me to make because Harper physically looks the same today then he did when he was drafted. Sano on the other hand came into our organization much younger than Harper and has physically matured from being a medium sized SS to a taller beefier version of himself. That's why I don't see the rush to promote him through the ranks and sacrifice his value by playing him as a DH, 1B, or RF. According to scouts, his coordination even in the AFL has improved giving him positive defensive reviews. I'd give Sano another year or two to physically develop and improve his 3B defense in the minors especially consdering he's on the same trajectory to be promoted with Rosario and Arcia. A 2014 IF consisting of Mauer, Parmalee, Rosario and Sano with Arcia, Revere and Hicks in the OF is my manifest destiny.
In two seasons in the Minor leagues, Bryce Harper committed 12 errors, while learning a new position... Heck, Delmon committed only 20 errors in 5 minor league seasons. I understand that looking at the number of errors alone doesn't make for a strong argument in the day and age of fancy calculators, but Sano has committed 90 errors already over three seasons. That's pretty heavy.
I also completely agree with the point that Sano was also in need some time to adapt to life in America/speaking a new language. One of his biggest concerns about playing in Wisconsin this past year was that it is such a radically cold climate compared to anything he has ever known!! That isn't a lifestyle/life decision I (or many people for that matter) will ever be able to appreciate or understand. I think that this point also has merit.
Just to throw some more teaching jargon out there for you...bringing Sano up at a slow pace may be the "least restrictive environment," but also may trigger a "looking glass self" as he performs to level he is at. If he were to be put into a situation where he is facing better compition, who is to say he doesn't step up the the plate (baseball cliche)?