Minnesota Twins: It is becoming hard to root for Miguel Sano

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 05: Miguel Sano #22 of the Minnesota Twins reacts to striking out against the Chicago White Sox during the eighth inning of game two of a doubleheader on June 5, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The White Sox defeated the Twins 6-3. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 05: Miguel Sano #22 of the Minnesota Twins reacts to striking out against the Chicago White Sox during the eighth inning of game two of a doubleheader on June 5, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The White Sox defeated the Twins 6-3. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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The Minnesota Twins have sold their fans on the hope of Miguel Sano becoming a superstar. This fan is struggling to continue rooting for Sano.

The Minnesota Twins through the abysmal years of losing leading up to last season’s breakout year had one thing to sell their fans, hope. Namely, hope in two high profile prospects: Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano. Both players have created frustration for Twins fans, but their situations are vastly different.

Both have shown flashes of the great players that they can be in the major leagues. It is in their struggles that they seem like very different players. Buxton always looks like he is working hard and cares. If anything he cares too much and may let that get to him at times.

On the other hand is Sano. We truly do not know what is going on in Sano’s head, but all the external indicators make it seem as though there just isn’t a drive to get better. He seems void of a drive to improve his game and develop into the superstar that he at one time looked destined to be.

That brings us to this point. A little more than two months into the 2018 season and as a fan, I am having a hard time continually investing myself into Sano and his future with the Twins. As I look at each reason why I am losing hope individually it seems like potentially nothing when it stands on its own. Collectively those reasons have added up to something.

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His performance is the number one reason. At the age of 25, he has many of the same warts as when he debuted as a 22-year-old. If anything some of those warts have gotten worse. It was no secret that Sano would be a power hitter and the negative side of that power would be that he would strike out a lot. As a fan, I accept that reality. Sano’s climb to continually strikeout at record levels without any signs of trying to improve upon that rate is hard to stomach. This season he is striking out at a rate just shy of 40% up from 35% over the rest of his career.

Sano’s physical shape adds into the equation as well. Now I will be real, Sano is simply always going to be a big dude. I don’t expect anything else from him. He also had a legitimate leg injury that limited him this offseason which would attribute to some hindrances in offseason training. This narrative may be mainly media driven, but it is at a point where I have to wonder if where there is smoke is there fire?  Is Sano just not trying to be in a bit better baseball playing shape?

One of the things I love about baseball, sports, and life is rooting people on from their beginning struggles all the way through to success. I hold out hope that struggle to success is still possible for Sano, but it is getting hard to hold that hope. With several other young players coming up through the Twins system I start to wonder at what point is it time to give up on Sano and turn to the likes of Nick Gordon or maybe even Brent Rooker.

Next: The complicated future of Eduardo Escobar

What does keep me coming back is at any point Sano could put things together again, be healthy, and go on a tear like he had to start 2017. Right now if I let my honest baseball and Twins fandom ring true I have emotionally began to move on from Sano. This fan is preparing to turn the reigns that provide hope for this team over to other players.

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