Twins top prospect Sano looms large

Miguel Sano, a 19-year-old power hitter, is a big part of the Twins' future, especially if he can stay at third.

Miguel Sano entered Target Field on Friday wearing a pink shirt, hands stuffed deep into his pants pockets and arms pulled in tightly. Twins officials soon scrambled for a closet.

The kid flew up for TwinsFest from the Dominican Republic without a coat. And they needed a coat big enough for his expanding frame.

Sano, the Twins' top prospect and one of the best in all of baseball, has grown an inch in the past year and will be listed in the 2013 media guide at 6 feet, 4 inches.

Sano, 19, said he weighs between 235 and 240 pounds, similar to what he carried at Class A Beloit last season. He's expected to move on to a higher Class A level, Fort Myers, this season. The Twins spent Friday marveling at his size yet still believing that he will be able to stick at third base.

Sano committed 42 errors last season, posting an .884 fielding percentage. Combine that with his expanding frame, and the Twins would appear to have a future outfielder or first baseman on their hands.

Brad Steil, the Twins director of minor leagues, pointed to third basemen such as Adrian Beltre and Aramis Ramirez, who committed 37 and 39 errors, respectively, as 19-year-olds and improved. Beltre might be the best defensive third baseman in baseball. The Twins probably would be happy if Sano is 80 percent of that.

"He's pretty athletic for his size. He's got pretty good feet, and he has some softness to his hands,'' Steil said. "It just a matter of consistency. That will come as he gains more experience. He didn't play third base a whole lot. He was a shortstop his whole life. So it's just a different speed of the game there. As he adjusts to that and gets more under control, his errors are going to come down."

Sano, with the help of agent Rob Plummer, has been working on keeping his weight down and learning English. On Friday, he was interviewed with an interpreter but wanted to answer questions in English. He said poor footwork at times and erratic throwing got him into trouble at Beloit. But he worked on defense extensively while playing for Estrellas in the Dominican Winter League.

"When I played in the Dominican, I worked at third base, and I feel so [much] better now," he said. "I like third base."

The fact that Sano was allowed to get any time in the Dominican League -- filled with veteran players such as Manny Ramirez, Felix Pie and Miguel Tejada -- shows how highly he is regarded. He played in 20 games, batting .265 with four homers and 14 RBI.

"I was so happy when I [got to] play in the Dominican for winter ball," he said.

Sano's great power potential makes him a blue-chip prospect -- especially if he remains at third base. He batted .258 with 28 homers and 100 RBI in 129 games for Beloit last season. He walked 80 times and struck out 144, but the Twins noticed improved plate discipline as the season went on.

Even Twins General Manager Terry Ryan, during a media luncheon on Friday at Target Field, said Sano "may be top 10 in the game among prospects.''

And their top prospect is at TwinsFest this weekend, meeting other members of the organization and seeing what Twins fans are like.

"This is going to be a good event for him to get a big-picture feel for Twins baseball and understand where he fits in all of that and interact with fans and see why we have been harping on him about his English," Steil said. "That's a big part of being a major league player, is working with the media and being fan-friendly in addition to being able to communicate with your coaches and teammates."

  • related content

  • Chart: TwinsFest continues

    Friday January 25, 2013

    When: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday

  • No joke: Guardado gets Twins Hall of Fame nod

    Friday January 25, 2013

    Inside the Twins clubhouse, Eddie Guardado was as well known for pranking his teammates as pitching the ninth. So Guardado knew better than to take Rod Carew's word for it...

  • The Minnesota Twins Miguel Sano arrived for Twinsfest from his home c...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Detroit 69 FINAL
Philadelphia 89
Portland 94 FINAL
Cleveland 99
Sacramento 102 FINAL
Toronto 119
Boston 98 FINAL
Minnesota 110
Dallas 94 FINAL
Houston 99
Denver 93 FINAL
New Orleans 85
Brooklyn 102 FINAL
Atlanta 113
Oklahoma City 92 FINAL
New York 100
Charlotte 86 FINAL
San Antonio 95
LA Clippers 94 FINAL
Utah 89
Washington 98 FINAL
Phoenix 106
Toronto 1 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Pittsburgh 0 FINAL
Washington 4
Chicago 3 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Temple 86 FINAL
UCF 62
Winthrop 75 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 68
Lafayette 59 FINAL
Colgate 54
Northeastern 60 FINAL
Drexel 65
Wake Forest 76 FINAL
Florida State 82
Rhode Island 64 FINAL
Fordham 63
Delaware 82 FINAL
James Madison 88
South Carolina 58 FINAL
LSU 64
New Hampshire 63 FINAL
Maine 58
Seton Hall 80 FINAL
Marquette 70
Binghamton 68 FINAL
UMBC 56
American Univ 54 FINAL
Navy 64
Elon 65 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 82
Wright State 76 FINAL
Oakland 84
Minnesota 58 FINAL
Penn State 63
Duquesne 55 FINAL
Richmond 86
SMU 63 FINAL
South Florida 52
Hartford 66 FINAL
Stony Brook 72
Albany 47 FINAL
Vermont 44
Hofstra 79 FINAL
William & Mary 100
UNC-Asheville 74 FINAL
Longwood 64
Radford 84 FINAL
Char Southern 77
Holy Cross 0 Postponed
Loyola-Maryland 0
Duke 73 FINAL
Notre Dame 77
Texas Tech 36 FINAL
Oklahoma 81
Oregon State 55 FINAL
Arizona State 73
Morehead State 82 FINAL
Austin Peay 69
Drake 69 FINAL
Bradley 57
Lehigh 62 FINAL
Bucknell 68
Rice 48 FINAL
Houston 59
Missouri State 57 FINAL
Illinois State 67
Loyola-Chicago 47 FINAL
Wichita State 58
Nebraska Omaha 64 FINAL
South Dakota St 86
Northern Iowa 59 FINAL
Southern Ill 52
Louisville 81 FINAL
Boston College 72
St Johns 74 FINAL
Creighton 77
East Carolina 58 FINAL
Memphis 70
Georgia Tech 70 FINAL
Miami-Florida 50
Miss State 73 FINAL
Ole Miss 79
Clemson 68 FINAL
NC State 57
Indiana 67 FINAL
Purdue 83
Kansas 64 FINAL
TCU 61
Oregon 56 FINAL
Arizona 90
Air Force 66 FINAL
San Jose St 52
Stanford 84 FINAL
Washington 74
Rider 56 FINAL
Siena 49
Dayton 76 FINAL
Richmond 62
Eastern Kentucky 53 FINAL
Jacksonville St 73
Saint Josephs 0 Postponed
Saint Louis 0
UMBC 71 FINAL
Binghamton 55
Akron 60 FINAL
Ohio U 72
Ball State 72 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 55
Memphis 56 FINAL
Cincinnati 44
East Carolina 32 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 87
Murray State 59 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 75
Kent State 63 FINAL
Central Michigan 65
UT Martin 64 FINAL
Tennessee St 58
Eastern Michigan 56 FINAL
Western Mich 83
Bucknell 61 FINAL
Lehigh 76
Indiana 57 FINAL
Michigan State 72
Colgate 56 FINAL
Lafayette 58
Fordham 66 FINAL
Davidson 45
Duquesne 76 FINAL
St Bonaventure 64
George Mason 66 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 70
Detroit 59 FINAL
Youngstown St 58
Army 0 Postponed
Boston U 0
Loyola-Maryland 0 Postponed
Holy Cross 0
SMU 58 FINAL
Tulsa 74
Oklahoma St 54 FINAL
Kansas State 52
West Virginia 57 FINAL
Texas Tech 73
Denver 56 FINAL
South Dakota 82
Northwestern St 46 FINAL
Central Arkansas 63
Austin Peay 67 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 87
Kansas 61 FINAL
Iowa State 56
Bowling Green 50 FINAL
Northern Ill 67
Penn State 64 FINAL
Minnesota 75
San Jose St 80 FINAL
Air Force 83
Boise State 82 FINAL
Colorado State 83
Utah State 51 FINAL
Wyoming 86
San Diego State 50 FINAL
Fresno State 57
Nevada 52 FINAL
UNLV 75
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close