Minnesota Twins Opening Day Countdown: 22, Miguel Sano

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 04: Miguel Sano
ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 04: Miguel Sano /

The Minnesota Twins are just 22 days away from Opening Day in Baltimore. As we near that day, here is more Twins history related to that number.

The Minnesota Twins are preparing for a 2018 season with expectation after making the playoffs in 2017 as a Wild Card team. We will highlight numbers from team history that represent the number of days until Opening Day on March 29th in Baltimore.

On a day with no spring training games, we reach 22 days on the countdown. I never thought I would say this, but we will look at the most polarizing Twins player currently on the roster and his name is not Joe Mauer. Due to both on and off the field issues, it seems that the new holder of that title is number 22, Miguel Sano.

The Questions surrounding Sano

Sano’s entire baseball career to this point has been surrounded by questions. It goes back to when he was being signed as a young shortstop out of the Dominican Republic. As covered well in the documentary Ballplayer: Pelotero, Sano’s age was brought into question before signing with the Twins. Something that went a long way to helping the Twins sign the promising talent as it caused other teams to bail on their pursuit of him.

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The next question that has swirled around Sano were the questions concerning his fielding ability. It was pretty clear that he would grow to a size that would no longer allow him to remain at shortstop. As the question still remains, how far down the fielding value scale will Sano fall. Can he stick at third base, or is he destined for first base or even designated hitter? As we approach 2018 we know that his conditioning and injury history hasn’t helped answer those questions. Instead, they have become louder than ever this spring.

His Bat

What makes Sano so polarizing, is that he is so good with a baseball bat in his hands. His patient approach and ability to take pitches has always been mesmerizing. Even if it may lead to his high amount of strikeouts. It is also no secret that Sano can destroy a ball when he gets a hold of it. Something he was able to display during the 2017 Home Run Derby.

The Twins would love to see Sano carry the team on his shoulders. He proved he is capable of doing just that at the start of the 2017 season. The young slugger is a key part of the Twins attempt to stay competitive and make a deep playoff run on a regular basis. If Sano can stay healthy, he will most certainly be able to hit over 30 home runs in 2018 after hitting 28 in his injury shortened 2017.

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Slotting Sano into a lineup next to proven sluggers such as Brian Dozier and Logan Morrison is pretty exciting. It just makes us want to keep counting down as we have reached day 22 and hope for a healthy slugging Miguel Sano come Opening Day.