Three reasons for hope

• Last season, after three bad months, he batted .314 with a .912 OPS (on-base-plus-slugging percentage) over his final 62 games.


• He won the AL’s Platinum Gold Glove as the league’s best defender. He was worth 2.8 WAR (wins above replacement) on defense alone.


• For all his struggles this season, he has only had 94 plate appearances for the Twins, about one month’s worth in a typical six-month season.

Three reasons for concern

• Mounting injuries. This season, he’s had migraines, a broken big toe and left wrist inflammation. He injured the same wrist and battled migraines last year. In 2014, he sprained that left wrist and suffered a season-ending concussion in Class AA.


• Frigid starts. His career first-half OPS is .559, compared to .807 in the second half.


• Strikeouts. He has wasted his speed, whiffing in 31.7 percent of his career plate appearances. Even in Class AAA this year, his strikeout rate is 30.3 percent.


Three reasons for hope


• At this time last year, he had a .906 OPS and had just appeared in the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby.


• He has lost close to 20 pounds and increased his leg strength, helping revamp his hitting mechanics at Class A Fort Myers.


• From all accounts, Sano has “bought in” to the Twins’ plan to strengthen his entire physical and mental foundation before bringing him back to the majors.

Three reasons for concern

• Weight. Long a concern, it got away from Sano last winter while he was recovering from surgery to insert a rod into his broken left leg.


• Sliders. According to, Sano’s batting average against the slider was .103 with a 65.6 strikeout percentage before his demotion.


• Commitment. The Twins keep hoping the light will come on for Sano, where he fully dedicates himself, mentally and physically, to becoming a perennial All-Star player.