From BR Bullpen
Miguel Angel Sano Jean
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 195 lb.
 Biographical Information
Third baseman Miguel Sano was one of baseball's top prospects in 2012 and 2013 but missed the next season because of injury.
Sano was signed by Minnesota Twins scout Fred Guerrero in September 2009; the $3.15 million bonus he got was a record for a Latin American amateur position player.  The Pittsburgh Pirates had offered $2.6 million earlier, but personality clashes between Pirates scout Rene Gayo and GM Neal Huntington and Sano's agent Rob Plummer led Sano to sign with Minnesota. 
Baseball America rated Sano as the Twins' #4 prospect entering 2010, behind Aaron Hicks, Wilson Ramos and Kyle Gibson.  He began his pro career in the Dominican Summer League with the DSL Twins in 2010, hitting .344/.463/.547 in 20 games before being brought stateside with the GCL Twins in midseason; he hit .291/.338/.466 in 41 games following the promotion. Defense was a problem as he made 22 errors on the year. Baseball America listed him as the second-best prospect in the Gulf Coast League (behind Gary Sanchez), #3 in the Twins chain (after Gibson and Hicks) and as #60 in all of baseball. 
With the Elizabethton Twins in 2011, he hit .292/.352/.637 with 20 home runs, 58 runs and 59 RBI in 66 games. He was second in the Appalachian League in runs (behind Eddie Rosario's 71), 5th in hits (78), tied for 8th in doubles (18, even with Art Charles), 2nd in triples (7, two behind Rosario), home runs (second, one behind Rosario), 3rd in RBI (two behind Charles, one behind Rosario), second in total bases (170, 11 behind Rosario), 4th in strikeouts (77) and 3rd in slugging (trailing Rosario and Chase Davidson). Defense remained a problem as he fielded .905 at the hot corner and just .836 at shortstop. Baseball America rated him as the top prospect in the circuit (ahead of Brandon Drury at #2 and Tyrell Jenkins at #3), as the Twins' top prospect and as the #18 prospect in all of the minors.  Even though he was in a short-season league, he nearly led Twins farmhands in home runs, one behind Rosario. He was named the Appy League's All-Star utility infielder, as Drury was picked at 3B and Taylor Motter at SS. He lost out Player of the Year to Drury and Rosario, who split the honor. 
He spent the next summer playing for the Beloit Snappers and led the Midwest League with 28 homers (9 more than runner-ups Anthony Garcia) and Kevin Patterson) and 100 RBI (by 14 over K.C. Hobson). He produced at a .258/.373/.521 clip, scored 75 runs, had 28 doubles and walked 80 times. He did make 42 errors at third, fielding only .884 there. He also was 9th in the Midwest League in OBP, 3rd in slugging (after Colin Walsh and Garcia), 2nd in OPS (56 points shy of Walsh), first in total bases (238, 20 more than #2 Drew Vettleson), second in walks (two behind Zeke DeVoss), tied for 4th in strikeouts (144). Among Twins farmhands, he was 5th in runs, tied for 4th in doubles, first in home runs (9 ahead of Chris Colabello, Deibinson Romero and Wilkin Ramirez), first in RBI (two ahead of Colabello and Oswaldo Arcia), first in walks (one ahead of Hicks) and was second in total bases (15 behind Arcia). He was named the MWL Prospect of the Year and All-Star third baseman, while Kevin Pillar got the MVP.  Baseball America ranked him as the Twins' #1 prospect, as the #9 prospect in all of the minors, as the Twins' top power prospect and as having the best infield arm in the Twins chain as well as being the #2 MWL prospect (behind Javier Baez, followed by Francisco Lindor. 
He began 2013 with the Fort Myers Miracle and hit .330/.424/.655 with 16 home runs, 51 runs and 48 RBI in 56 games. In June of that year, he was promoted to the New Britain Rock Cats. Unsurprisingly, he made the World team for the 2013 Futures Game, hitting cleanup and playing third base. He grounded out against Taijuan Walker in the second, drew an Anthony Ranaudo walk in the 4th (and was stranded at 3rd), was plunked by Eddie Butler in the 6th and flew out while facing Kyle Crick in the 9th. For a World team that got just three hits (two by Xander Bogaerts), Sano's two times on base were one of the better points in a 4-2 loss.  With New Britain, he struggled a bit with his batting average, hitting .236 in 67 games, but the power was still there, with 19 homers. Between the two levels, his batting line was .280/.382/.610 in 123 games, with 30 doubles, 35 homers and 103 RBI. He struck out 142 times, but was not just a free swinger, as he also drew 65 walks.
He then suffered a major setback as he had issues with his throwing in spring of 2014 and had to undergo Tommy John surgery. As a result, he missed the entire 2014 season, returning to action in spring training with the Twins in 2015. While he did hit a pair of long homers in limited playing time for the Twins, he was not there to make the team, given the time missed and was sent back to AA to see if he could resume his career at the level where it had been interrupted. He was sent to the AA Chattanooga Lookouts where he hit .274 with 15 homers and 48 RBIs through July 1st when he was called up to Minnesota to make his debut. He hit his first major league homer on July 7th, a two-run 1st-inning shot off Kevin Gausman of the Baltimore Orioles. The Twins were surprisingly good in the first half of the season, but fell off badly after the All-Star Game. Sano was an exception, however, as he claimed the clean-up slot in the team's line-up and looked more like a seasoned veteran than a raw rookie. On August 12th, he went 3-for-3 with two homers and 6 RBIs to lead the Twins to an 11-1 win over the Texas Rangers. He had a great month of August overall, earning the honor of being named the American League's Rookie of the Month: in 27 games, he batted .298 with 7 doubles, 9 home runs, 18 runs scored and 26 RBIs. On September 9th, he won a game with a 10th-inning pinch homer off the Kansas City Royals' Franklin Morales for a 3-2 victory; prior to the homer, he had gone 0 for 14 with 11 strikeouts. He finished the year with a batting line of .269/.385/.530 in 80 games, with 17 doubles, 18 homers and 52 RBIs, good for an OPS+ of 146. He finished third in the voting for the 2015 American League Rookie of the Year Award.
 Notable Achievements
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2013 Twins Media Guide
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article by Dejan Kovacevic
- 2013 Twins Media Guide
- Baseballamerica.com, 2013 Twins Media Guide
- Baseball America, 2013 Twins Media Guide
- 2013 Futures Game
 Further Reading
- Rhett Bolinger: "Sano switching to right field, with Torii's help: Young Twins slugger excited to learn new position, play every day", mlb.com, January 30, 2016.