Miguel Sano is the leader among AL third baseman in All-Star voting. He could be the first Twin to start at the hot corner since Harmon Killebrew.
The Minnesota Twins could have a starter on the field during the midsummer classic this season. Miguel Sano is the current leader of the American League third baseman fan vote, and he could be the first starter the Twins have had at the hot corner in an All-Star Game in a while.
Sano could make his way to Miami in July ahead of some bright stars at the hot corner. He currently leads the likes of Manny Machado, Jose Ramirez and Josh Donaldson, each of which are having fine seasons. None, however, are producing like Sano.
Sano is showing why he was so highly-touted in the minors. He is currently batting .303 with 14 home runs and 43 runs batted in. His offensive WAR ranks fifth in the American League at 2.6. He ranks in the top ten in home runs (9th) and RBIs (2nd). The Twins slugger is asserting his dominance at his position.
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He is a deserving candidate.
Sano has been expected to be a superstar for years. Last season, he flashed the power with 25 home runs while knocking in 66 runs. His ability to hit for average, however, was sub par with his .236 average. He was prone to strike out a lot, whiffing 178 times in just 116 games. His patience at the plate was rough, only accepting 54 free passes.
This season has been different. Besides the power, which has actually improved, every other aspect of his game has been a notch better. While he still strikes out (78 whiffs this season), he has walked 32 times. That’s only 22 less than in 2016, and he’s played 66 less games. His on-base percentage is up from .319 in 2016 to .410 this season.
Sano is improving his approach at the plate and his patience is paying off. His improvements have helped in the overall success of the team. The Twins are in first place in the American League Central and Sano is a big part of that success.
If Sano can continue to stay patient at the plate and exert his power, he will not only be the starting third baseman at the All-Star Game but also an MVP candidate. He is an incredible talent that is starting to hit his stride. That should be scary to the rest of the American League.