Sano Third Baseman of Future, but for How Long?


Jul 14, 2013; Flushing , NY, USA; World infielder Miguel Sano at bat during the 2013 All Star Futures Game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Miguel Sano has already led an interesting baseball life and has not even played in the Major Leagues yet. He had a whirlwind recruitment by multiple teams while he was still in the Dominican Republic as a 16 year old, is having the second documentary about his life filmed, underwent Tommy John Surgery and has had Twins fans anxiously awaiting his arrival for years despite the fact that he is only 21 years old.

More from Minnesota Twins

When the Minnesota Twins signed Sano in 2009 he was playing shortstop at the time. He was, and still is, one of the top prospects in baseball because he was blessed with so many natural gifts, especially at the plate. He was expected to grow into his body which is exactly what has happened. Sano has added muscle in a major way. Compare the image above, which was taken at the All Star Futures Game in New York in July of 2013 to this picture from spring training this year:

View image |

Sano looks like he is his own older brother when you compare the two pictures. Considering his greatest asset is his prodigious power I do not consider this a bad thing, but what will it mean for his positional future?

As Jim Callis pointed out on the MLB main site over a year ago, conventional wisdom suggests that Sano will start his Twins career at third base but that it will be a pit stop for him as opposed to a destination. Callis is of the opinion that Sano will ultimately wind up in the corner outfield or at first base due to his size and physical abilities.

The most likely scenario to me seems to be first base. The Twins have certainly played bigger, slower guys in the outfield like Delmon Young and Oswaldo Arcia but it would be preferable to get back to the days of having an athletic outfield which was once one of the Twins calling cards. My dad waxes poetic to this day about watching Torii Hunter, Matt Lawton and Jacque Jones cover the Metrodome Astroturf. More recently, the Twins deployed Denard Span and Ben Revere in the same outfield. Getting back to a strong defensive outfield would be a welcome sight.

More from Sporting Sota

The best scenario would be Sano sticking to third base as long as possible. Trevor Plouffe is a fine player but could move into more of a utility role once Sano gets called up. Joe Mauer, presuming he stays relatively healthy, will be locked in to most of the games at first base for the next several years. Kennys Vargas also figures to get a little bit of time at first, although he will mostly be the every day designated hitter. For the games Paul Molitor decides to have Mauer DH to save some wear and tear on his body Vargas can slide in and play first base in spot duty. Whereas Sano is capable of playing multiple positions, Vargas is strictly a part time first baseman. Sano’s eventual move to first should be delayed as long as possible.

This is all putting the cart well before the horse though considering Sano has not made his MLB debut yet. Still, his ultimate path in his career is starting to take shape.

Next: 2015 Twins Preview