3. 3B Miguel Sano
Miguel Sano is coming off an All-Star season, but one that finished badly for the big man. Basically, he missed a majority of the last part of the year with a leg injury. The good news is that the 24-year-old slugger had offseason surgery to address the problem. Additionally, the loss of Sano didn’t end up hurting the Twins as much as initially thought. Basically, Eduardo Escobar played as good as anyone on the Twins down the stretch and there’s an argument Escobar even played better than Sano.
Nevertheless, Sano is an All-Star third baseman and has the potential to consistently put together 40-plus home run, 100-plus RBI seasons for the Twins. In fact, before going down to injury, he was well on his way there, hitting .267 with 28 home runs and 77 RBIs. Not to mention, he showed great improvement at third base with a 96.7 fielding percentage, quite an improvement from 89.6 a year ago.
Of course, Sano’s Achilles heel is that he strikes out at a high rate. If it weren’t for missing a large chunk of time late in the season, he would have struck out over 200 times. On the other hand, he likely would have been top-25 in walks as well. In my view, if swinging for the fences means more strikeouts for the big man, I’ll take that over the Joe Mauer approach of swinging for contact and striking out less any day.
All things considered, Sano has the ability to be a Hall of Fame caliber player for years to come if he can just stay healthy. In a couple of years, I expect him to jump to no. 1 or 2 on this list.