Every Miguel Sano home run — and there were two more Sunday, giving him 33 for the season, with 16 at Class A and 17 now at Class AA — creates a louder drumbeat among fans who want hime called up to the big leagues for a September taste.
They look at Trevor Plouffe and don’t see the long-term answer at third base (or on Sunday, they see Doug Bernier, a 33-year-old journeyman with two games of MLB experience before this season, manning the hot corner).
They watch the ball rocket off Sano’s bat. They look at 17 September home games that, without a pennant push in sight, would be livened up by the presence of Sano.
These are not unreasonable sentiments. Sano throttled Class A pitching, and despite a low batting average (. 238 entering Sunday) and a heap of strikeouts (roughly one every three at-bats), he has acquitted himself well in many areas at Class AA. If he had enough at-bats, his slugging percentage and OPS would rank among the top five in the Eastern League.
But he is only 20 years old. There is no reason to rush him to the major leagues, which would require him to be added to the 40-man roster.
Don’t even look at the struggles of Kyle Gibson, Aaron Hicks and Co. — players older and with more experience than Sano — as cautionary tales. Each prospect should be treated inside his own vacuum. If he’s ready, he’s ready.
And we’re still not convinced Sano is ready. The power is more than impressive, but the low average and high strikeouts only figure to keep heading in the wrong directions against even better pitching in the majors. Before Sunday’s outburst, he was 7-for-43 with 19 K’s in his previous 11 games at Class AA.
Let’s let this play out. Let’s not view desperation or a chance to sell a few extra tickets to disappointed fans as good reasons to promote a player who could be a Twins cornerstone of years to come.
Let’s wait until March and see if he has the kind of spring that would warrant a long look in 2014, hopefully for good.
But let’s not force or demand this. Patience is a virtue.