Miguel Sano
Miguel Sano
25-Year-Old Third Baseman3B
Minnesota Twins
Out
Injury Leg
Est. Return 2/1/2019
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Sano fulfilled his promise as an elite power hitter before missing most of the final two months due to a shin injury. The Twins stopped using him in the outfield, and he was passable defensively at third base. He hit 21 home runs with a .906 OPS in the first half, but played just 32 games in the second half due to a stress reaction in his left shin. Sano tried to return briefly in September, eventually needing offseason surgery to insert a metal rod into his leg. He has a career 12.3 percent walk rate and monstrous power, but he continues to strike out in over one-third of his plate appearances. Fortunately, his 44.8 percent hard-hit rate ranked fourth in MLB, which significantly raises his batting average floor. He's expected to be completely healthy when spring training begins. In December, Sano was accused of an alleged sexual assault that occurred in 2015. At press time, no charges had been filed, and MLB had not publicly started an investigation. Read Past Outlooks
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Won't face charges after car accident
3BMinnesota Twins
Leg
October 8, 2018
Sano (leg) won't face criminal charges after he was involved in a car accident in the Dominican Republic early Sunday that resulted in a police officer suffering a broken leg, ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Reports initially surfaced Sunday suggesting that Sano was arrested as a result of the incident, but Dominican national police concluded that the 25-year-old backed up his pickup truck outside of a nightclub without realizing that the officer was positioned behind his vehicle. According to police colonel Frank Duran Mejia, Sano took the injured officer to the hospital himself and wasn't charged because he didn't abandon the scene of the accident. With the situation surrounding the accident now clarified, it appears Sano will avoid any punishment from Major League Baseball and can turn his focus to rehabbing the left leg injury that limited him to just four appearances in September.
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Batting Stats
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
 
 
+8%
OPS vs LHP
2018
 
 
+10%
OPS vs RHP
2017
 
 
+21%
OPS vs LHP
2016
 
 
+6%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2016vs Left .835 310 49 17 44 0 .243 .335 .500
Since 2016vs Right .771 967 115 49 140 1 .236 .319 .453
2018vs Left .634 80 10 4 10 0 .186 .263 .371
2018vs Right .696 219 22 9 31 0 .204 .288 .408
2017vs Left .992 116 20 7 19 0 .297 .388 .604
2017vs Right .817 367 55 21 58 0 .254 .341 .477
2016vs Left .818 114 19 6 15 0 .227 .333 .485
2016vs Right .771 381 38 19 51 1 .238 .315 .456
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
 
 
+3%
OPS at Home
2018
 
 
+30%
OPS at Home
2017
 
 
+9%
OPS on Road
2016
 
 
+2%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2016Home .800 622 82 30 86 0 .239 .326 .473
Since 2016Away .774 655 82 36 98 1 .236 .319 .455
2018Home .772 140 17 7 22 0 .236 .300 .472
2018Away .595 159 15 6 19 0 .165 .264 .331
2017Home .824 253 37 12 36 0 .257 .356 .468
2017Away .896 230 38 16 41 0 .272 .348 .549
2016Home .790 229 28 11 28 0 .223 .310 .480
2016Away .774 266 29 14 38 1 .247 .327 .447
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Stat Review
How does Miguel Sano compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
BB/K
0.27
 
BB Rate
10.4%
 
K Rate
38.5%
 
BABIP
.286
 
ISO
.199
 
AVG
.199
 
OBP
.281
 
SLG
.398
 
OPS
.679
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
Sano took a step backward after his promising rookie stint. Minnesota struggled to find a position for Sano and made the surprising decision to start him in right field, which may have hindered his plate work. Sano hit just .235 with a .799 OPS in the first two months. After missing most of July with a strained hamstring, Sano moved to third base. He continued to struggle with his health (elbow, back) and finished the season mostly playing DH. Sano's frequent injuries and worsening approach led to demotion talk in August. He increased an already problematic strikeout rate to 36.0 percent last season and drew fewer walks (10.9 percent walk rate compared to 15.8 percent in 2015). Long term, any position other than DH may not be sustainable given his size. Despite his flaws, Sano still draws walks at a strong rate and boasts prodigious power, tools that could help him fulfill his promise and become one of baseball's top home run threats.
Sano made a strong impression in his rookie season as he quickly went from looking like one of the Twins' best hitters to one of the best hitters in the league. He was called up at the start of July after hitting 15 home runs with a .918 OPS at Double-A, and didn't miss a beat despite skipping a level. Sano had a strong 15.8% walk rate, which is uncommon for a rookie, and flashed 40-homer potential. The batting average is a risk since he struck out too often (35.5%) and had an unsustainable .401 BABIP, plus he will be DH-only in many formats at least to start the year. The Twins have said they want Sano to play in the field in 2016, but Trevor Plouffe remains in the way at third base. First base could be where he ultimately ends up. No matter what, the Twins will make room for Sano in the lineup and he'll likely be the cleanup hitter.
Sano entered spring training 2014 as one of the top hitting prospects in baseball with an outside shot to win the starting third base job, but suffered an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery. He missed the entire 2014 season but is expected to be ready by spring training. When we last saw Sano on the field, he hit a combined .280/.382/.610 with 35 home runs between High-A Fort Myers and Double-A New Britain in 2013. Sano draws walks at a strong rate (12%), but also strikes out too much (142 strikeouts). He will need to make better contact for his batting average not to be a drag in the majors. Sano showed improvement with his fielding at third base in 2013, but it's still not clear if he'll stick at the hot corner in the majors. The missed season may prolong his time in the minors, as GM Terry Ryan said the Twins don't plan for him to contend for a major league job this spring and he'll likely spend a full season in the minors. However, a hot start to the season –- and proof his elbow is back to full strength –- could hasten that timetable. Sano is still projected to be an impact bat for the Twins and a pillar of the rebuilding effort.
Sano's prodigious power has made him perhaps the top hitting prospect in baseball and he could contend for a starting job with the Twins in spring training. Sano hit a combined .280/.382/.610 with 35 home runs between High-A Fort Myers and Double-A New Britain. After hitting .330 with a 1.079 OPS at High-A, he slowed somewhat at Double-A by hitting just .236, but he still had a .915 OPS and hit 19 home runs. Sano draws walks at a strong rate (12% of plate appearances), but he also struck out too much (142 strikeouts). He will need to make better contact for his batting average not to be a drag in the majors. Sano showed improvement with his fielding at third base, as he cut his errors nearly in half, but it's still not clear if he'll stick at the hot corner in the majors. He also missed most of winter ball due to a strained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. The injury is thought to be minor, but it could hurt his chances to win the starting third base job in spring training. If Sano doesn't win the starting job in spring training, he could be called up early in the season with a fast start at Triple-A. Along with Byron Buxton, Sano is a key cornerstone in Minnesota's rebuilding plans and one of the top keepers in fantasy baseball.
Sano's tremendous power puts him among the top hitting prospects in the game and a strong season at Low-A puts him on track to perhaps be Minnesota's next star hitter. Sano had an encouraging development as he drew walks (15 percent of plate appearances) at a great rate, but he also struck out too much (144 strikeouts). He will need to make better contact to thrive at higher levels. He played third base at Low-A, but made 42 errors in 125 games. It is not clear if he will have the glove to stay at third base at higher levels, and Sano may have to move to the outfield. Those flaws are offset by his power as he hit 28 home runs in Low-A as a 19-year-old. The Twins have been deliberate with his development, but a strong 2013 season could make him a factor in the majors in 2014.
Sano is living up to the hype that made him a high-priced signing out of the Dominican Republic and he may be Minnesota's next star hitter. Sano hit .292/.352/.637 with 20 home runs in 66 games in the rookie Appalachian League. He displayed massive power potential at just age 18 and was drawing comparisons to Miguel Cabrera. While Sano drew more walks in his second professional season, he still needs to improve his contact rate (77 strikeouts in 267 at-bats). He alternated playing third base and shortstop and his future position likely depends how much he grows beyond his 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame. The Twins haven't ruled out playing him at shortstop, but he'll likely move to third base or even the outfield at higher levels. A strong season at Low-A Beloit could bring him to the ranks of the most elite prospects in baseball.
Sano showed enough in his first professional season to draw comparisons to a young Miguel Cabrera. He was considered the top prospect in the Dominican Republic when he signed with the Twins in November 2009. At 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, he was moved to third base from shortstop and posted a 1.009 OPS in 20 games in the Dominican Summer League, before hitting .291/.338/.466 for the Gulf Coast League Twins in rookie ball. He struggled with the strike zone (10:43 K:BB ratio), but held his own in rookie ball at just 17. He has explosive bat speed with huge power potential. Sano needs refinement, but the upside is very high.
Jean was considered the top prospect in the Dominican Republic, which made it a surprise when the low revenue Twins nabbed him with a $3.15 million singing bonus. The 16-year-old shortstop looks like a fully developed player at 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds and he's said to have good power and a strong arm. However, we'll need to see how he fares in his first taste of professional baseball to see if he'll have the mobility to remain at shortstop given his size. He also changed his name from Miguel Angel Sano to Miguel Jean after his signing, so beware any confusion.
More Fantasy News
Likely done for season
3BMinnesota Twins
Leg
September 27, 2018
Manager Paul Molitor said he is "not optimistic" about Sano (leg) returning before the end of the season, Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
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Timeline for return uncertain
3BMinnesota Twins
Leg
September 22, 2018
It's unclear when Sano (leg) could return to action, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
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Sent for additional testing
3BMinnesota Twins
Leg
September 21, 2018
Sano has returned to Minnesota to undergo further testing on his left leg, Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
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Out of Friday's lineup
3BMinnesota Twins
September 21, 2018
Sano isn't in Friday's starting nine against Oakland.
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Receives breather Wednesday
3BMinnesota Twins
September 19, 2018
Sano is not in the starting lineup versus Detroit on Wednesday, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
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