With the Minnesota Twins’ offense kicking back into gear towards the end of April, it has become easy to overlook one of the most surprising weaknesses in the lineup: the poor performance of Miguel Sanó.
Sanó has always profiled as an all-or-nothing hitter, homering or striking out in 42.1 percent of his career plate appearances. However, while his strikeout rate has remained high in 2022, his home run rate has plummeted – and with it, all offensive production.
Through all but the final day of April, Sanó has put up an abysmal slash line of .096/.226/.154, with more strikeouts (19) than his OPS+ (18) and a single home run. Sanó has already graded out as a minus-0.5 WAR player in only a month of action, and he has quickly put himself on pace for a third straight season of negative win probability added. What’s going on?
What is the issue for Minnesota Twins first baseman Miguel Sano?
Looking at Sanó’s monthly splits, April is the cruelest month for his offensive statistics, the burly first baseman slashing .211/.336/.416 with 18 career home runs. But that slash line is a far cry from his 2022 mark, a sub-.100 batting average with a single homer.
While he has traditionally slugged much better in May (career .517 slugging percentage in the month with 27 home runs), something is going to have to happen soon this season if he is going to flip the switch and show off the power that has made him valuable to the team.
Traditionally, Sanó’s strongest months of the season have come in the summer, his best-hitting months of the year being July and August. However, Sanó will have to begin to hit in the spring if he is to get the chances to show off his power once the summer rolls around.
It might just be the lack of a spring training, and with more plate appearances over the course of the season, Sanó will start slugging again (I certainly hope). Otherwise, Sanó’s value to the team has completely fallen away.