2) Possibly a good argument, but..... I don't see how it's possible that a guy with this much talent and the Twins with this much need, would make an issue of his available options ever come into significant consideration. You haven't said it, but in response to others that have said it....MIGUEL SANO IS NOT AARON HICKS!!!
3) I agree that he's likely to open in AAA, but I really don't think he has much left to learn in the minors--- except developing a little more maturity to aid in a smooth, seamless and no-turning-back transition to the Twins. Again, the numbers he's accomplished this year prove he's in a very, very rarefied class of baseball hitting talent (there's nothing left to "prove"!). And, as others have previously posted, the Twins 40-man roster is chock full of never-weres and never-will-bes, there will be no fretting about whether adding Sano now or next June would make any difference to the future fortunes to the club.
No, he's not Hicks, but the biggest difference is upside. For this decision, I think we're talking about readiness, and I would have thought Hicks MORE ready than Sano. He struck out a (very) little less and walked more. But I'm not sure that's necessarily a reason to not promote him. If we're waiting for the strikeouts to come down, we may be waiting a very long time.
It is a good sign that strike out rate has not gone up. Ten weeks in AAA next year is not going to hurt his development. If he can maintain his strikeout and walk rates in AAA, call him up around June 15. If not, give him the time to adjust at AAA.
You don't call up a player only after he's completely ready. Look at Torii Hunter, Denard Span, Aaron Hicks, Oswaldo Arcia, and lots more. You call up a young player so he can see what he'll be up against in his mlb career. Sometimes they stick right away; sometimes, like Hunter, Span, Hicks and Arcia, they need a little more time to make some adjustments in AAA.
Calling up Miguel Sano probably would be a good move, so long as the kid realizes that major league pitchers will sometimes make him look completely foolish. They'll mess up his timing with amazing change ups. They'll blast him inside with mid-90's heat. They'll make him wave clumsily at curves that break two feet outside, and at forkballs that hit the dirt a foot in front of the plate.
In short, they'll make Sano look and feel foolish with his big, long swing. What Sano does about that will determine if he stays up, or goes to AAA finishing school. A lot of very good ballplayers had to go back down one or more times to work on their game, and it may well be the case for Miguel. That doesn't mean you don't let him try his hand. At least let the kid see the kind of pitchers he's going to be facing. Heck, maybe he can handle them right now. There's only one way to find out.
Is he better than Plouffe yet? Probably not. Plouffe is getting the playing time this September.
I think service time issues are generally overblown, but they make the most difference for a top prospect who projects to be an all-star (Sano, Wil Myers), as opposed to guys who project as more role players (Hicks, Gibson). (On the flip side, option years mean less to the better players, as they are less likely to need them.)
But there are few things more exciting than a fast-track prospect who is succeeding... and likewise few things more depressing than a fast-track prospects who disappoints!
I think if you call him up it will be for a few innings here, a pitch hit there for a couple weeks in September. The Gibson/Albers treatment- a little easing in before getting serious
Interesting thread. Some good points on both sides of the issue. I tend to think he is not really ready for the majors, but that really isn't the key point. I liked the questions about Plouffe. Sano probably isn't better than Plouffe right now, but that really isn't the issue either. We all expect that when Sano gets to the majors for good, he is going to be good, probably even great. Even if he is, he is going to need good pieces around him.
Since I suspect Sano isn't really quite ready for the majors, I would just as soon those at bats go to Plouffe, and others like Collabello and Parmelee. I don't think we know yet what Plouffe is going to in the majors. He could be a solid regular, a platoon type guy or a bit player. Give him as much playing as possible at 3rd till Sano gets to the majors. At that point, you make a choice. Maybe you move Plouffe to another position, maybe you move Sano, maybe Plouffe is sort of a super utility guy(he is versatile enough), maybe he is a bench guy, or maybe he is traded. But, give Plouffe as much playing time at 3rd as you can till Sano is ready. Then you can make as informed decision as possible about him.
Right now, I would just as soon Sano was not taking major league at bats from anybody else that could become a useful big leaguer for the Twins. I don't believe that they would benefit him that much, till he is closer to major league ready, and I believe they would benefit the Twins in finding out more about Plouffe, and maybe others.
It's insane that people are calling for a elite prospect to start the season with a major league club with no threat of competing at the cost of a year of control.
I actually think you call up Sano for September and make it very clear that he is starting next year in AAA and will only play a little. There are possible financial ramifications (less so if he goes back to AAA next year) but September callups were great exposure to majors. A nice reward for top prospects and also for the fans even if they didn't play that often. It's really too bad that counting days (arb clock) has become so important for franchises.
Also, your conclusion that Sano is not ready is certainly convenient way to argue that he should stay down, but it's nonetheless an opinion based on the same knowledge available to all of us. I disagree that he's not ready.
I read it as people responding to "should Sano get promoted?" with "look at what happened with Hicks." I haven't moved beyond the subject matter if this thread.
I'm not sure what "ready" means re Sano. I'm also not sure whether we're asking the right question. The goal is give the kid the best opportunity to reach his potential, and in turn help the team win games down the road. There's no one way to make this happen. The whole "he's not ready" exercise because of some arbitrary stat or his age is artificially limiting. Perhaps Sano is the type of personality that will thrive on this challenge and/or needs to get his feet wet before taking off after 20 or so games.
As far as the national pundits go, Sano's universally considered an elite prospect, and his numbers remain strong. I think we can agree that, if pressed, they would agree that whether he's "ready' is an open question.
If the 40 man roster spot wasnt an issue, and his impending FA wasn't a factor either, I would be alright with bringing up Sano in September. I do think he would be ready to start in the majors by next spring. But i would rather him wait in the minors a month or 2 to push back FA another season. I would rather guarentee we have a producing Sano when we are winning again then have one learning the game in the majors before the next wave of prospects are comming up and shorting us the extra season of control. I guess we could sign him to a 10 year contract and this whole debate becomes moot as we could then call him up whenever.
I just want to say thanks to everyone for the comments and good-spirited debate.
I think this is by far the most comments something I've written has generated.