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Friday, February 12, 2016

2016 FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: MIGUEL SANO 3B MINNESOTA TWINS

The 2015 fantasy baseball was not unlike any other in recent memory when it came to the massive and well-chronicled explosion of the third base position right at the top.  Joining MVP Josh Donaldson were other monster All-Star hitting stars at the hot corner that included Manny Machado, Nolan Arenado, and Kris Bryant.  While those four got most of the hype and pub, one could argue that a fifth youthful third baseman also should have been added to this group in the form of powerful Minnesota Twins slugger Miguel Sano.  Long considered one of the top prospects in baseball the last few years due to his Giancarlo Stanton-like power, Sano hit a detour in 2014 when he missed the entire season due to being forced to undergo Tommy John elbow surgery.  Back a year later and with good health, Sano picked up right where he left off by hitting 15 home runs in only 286 at-bats at Triple-A before the Twins promoted him during the summer.  From that point onward, Sano was downright spectacular at times as he slammed 18 more home runs in just 335 at-bats.  Better yet, Sano even put up a respectable average at .269.  Now going into the 2016 season, Sano will be an outfielder for the Twins as Trevor Plouffe stays at third base.  No matter where he plays though, you want to own Sano in fantasy baseball for the sole purpose of that power.  Let's get into Sano a bit more and find out how good he can be in 2016.

Stating the extreme obvious, Sano is a monster power hitter in the making who can maybe challenge for the home run title as soon as this season.  The power is that immense as Sano should with his 35 home run pace last season with the Twins.  30 home runs should be a lock for Sano this season and there is the outside chance he could challenge 40 if he gets enough pitches to hit.  The RBI will follow along with the power as well, with 80-90 RBI in the cards as well.  Also with a .385 OBP, Sano gets on base at a high clip to help in runs as well.

Of course when it comes to Miguel Sano, we have to discuss the giant issue of his batting average which was a fluke at .269 in 2015 due to an insanely lucky .396 BABIP.  With a lack of pure speed, there is no way in hell Sano approaches that kind of BABIP again and this alone will make his average tumble.  In addition, Sano has some of the most pronounced strikeouts issues of any hitter for 2016 fantasy baseball, with his 2015 K rate of 35.5 percent showing just how bad he is there.  That 35.5 percent is Joey Gallo territory which is not where you want any hitter to be.  With the BABIP dropping and the K rate going over 30 percent again this season, Sano may not even be able to hit .240.  That is a big negative and at least throws some cold water on his prospects as an overall investment.  Throw in a lack of speed that will result in a single-digit number in steals and Sano is a big negative in two standard categories. 

Of course when you invest in Sano, you ignore the average and runs and are blinded by the power.  We get that but it also is not the best way to go about using your draft dollars.  Remember that the hurt Sano puts in your overall team batting average takes some sizzle away from the extreme power numbers and that needs to be addressed.  We love the third base/outfield versatility and 35 home run power but Sano is still quite flawed. 

2016 PROJECTION:  .244 34 HR 88 RBI 78 R 4 SB 

 

2 comments:

  1. Sano is being drafted in the 3rd round in most practice drafts that I've seen. That's not exactly sleeper status

    ReplyDelete
  2. Zach: Was supposed to be a Player Analyzer but had Sleeper on my mind from the Randall Grichuk post.

    ReplyDelete