Miguel Sano is a physical specimen. For those who have seen the young third baseman play there is no other way to describe him. As one of the Minnesota Twins’ top prospects, he had a legitimate chance to reach the majors in 2014 thanks to his raw power and all-around solid game. Unfortunately, that won’t be happening.
On Saturday news broke that Sano will have to undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow sometime in the next two weeks with an eye towards being ready for the 2015 season. It’s a huge blow to the 20-year-old who is a consensus top 10 prospect in all of baseball. It’s an even bigger blow to the Twins, who had hoped to have Sano in the big leagues before too long.
Along with center fielder Byron Buxton (who is also just 20 years old), Sano represents what should be an incredibly bright future for the Twins. Buxton is widely regarded as baseball’s top prospect and he and Sano are both close to major league ready.
Last season Sano reached Double-A, and for the season (spent at two levels) he hit .280 with an OPS of .992, 35 home runs, 103 RBIs and 123 hits in 123 games. He was young for Double-A as well, so imagine the kind of numbers he could put up if he were more mature and had more time to grow into his 6-3 frame.
Sano is a still not polished as a third baseman, but at worst he’ll wind up playing first and hitting 30-35 home runs a year early in his career, with the potential to do much more.
The surgery on his elbow is a major setback for Sano and, for his sake, here’s hoping that the Twins closely monitor his rehab and get him back to playing shape as quickly as possible.