If you’re Terry Ryan, the answer is probably not, but Miguel Sano also hasn’t had his chance to sway the decision. Throughout Twins Fest, the notion was that both Byron Buxton and Sano would be options for the Twins in 2015, but likely not out of the gate. I would suggest however, Sano could have something to say about that narrative.
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Last season, Kennys Vargas debuted at Target Field during All-Star weekend. He ended up crushing a double off of the right field wall during the Future’s Game, and just a short time later, was up playing regularly for the big club.
In 2014, Vargas brought plenty of excitement to a team severely lacking it. He played in 53 games for the Twins, and compiled 215 at bats. He slashed .274/.316/.456 and hit nine home runs with 38 runs batted in. Unfortunately for Vargas, over the final month of the season, he saw his production dip to a line of .228/.291/.446. He still hit five home runs and drove in 14 runs during September, but he struck out 27 times while walking only eight times.
As Spring Training rolls around for the Twins in 2015, the door would appear to at least be cracked for Miguel Sano. On the defensive side of the ball, it may actually be Sano that provides more ability. With Trevor Plouffe firmly entrenched in the third base spot to start the year, Sano doesn’t have to play the field, but is capable if called upon. Vargas is average at best at first base, but may be considered a bigger asset with no real backup to Joe Mauer if Vargas is not on the roster.
Looking at the plate, Sano has the most to gain during Spring Training. Consider the struggle that Vargas endured as the season came to a close during 2014, and the fear that may ensue should he be at the same place this spring. For Sano, his career slash line in the minors sits at .279/.373/.567. The power is definitely there, and he will drive in plenty of runs.
Coming off of a lost season due to Tommy John surgery, Miguel Sano is definitely going to have to knock off some rust this spring. That being said, it’s conceivable that with an outstanding performance, the Twins may have to rethink their plans. Sano may never hit for average at the major league level, but he likely could have slugged 30 home runs at the highest level two years ago.
If Vargas falters, and Sano comes out strong, all bets should be off. No matter what happens, the Twins have plenty of exciting storylines to monitor this spring.