There is no question that Miguel Sano, the 22-year old slugger from the Dominican Republic, has made an immediate impact on the Minnesota Twins since his call-up at the beginning of July.
In my humble opinion, his impact on the Twins has been so great, as have his numbers, that he deserves serious consideration to be named the American League Rookie of the Year.Sano got off to a slow start in his major league career. It wasn’t until his sixth major league contest that he hit his first home run, coming against the Baltimore Orioles. After that first home run, he has managed to bomb 14 balls out of the park over nearly the past two months.
His power and ability to work the count, accumulate extra-base hits and base-on-balls is something the Twins have not had in their lineup maybe since Harmon Killebrew. I’m not saying that Sano is the next Killebrew. However, if he is, then that’s great for the Twins.
Sano was just named the Rookie of the Month for August, and is already off to a great start in September. He has four hits, two home runs, and two runs batted in in two games.
The one American League rookie who is standing in Sano’s way is the
Houston Astros’ Carlos Correa, who has been as impressive as Sano, but is tailing off a little as the season heads into the final stretch. Correa has benefited from playing 20 more games and nearly 100 more at-bats than Sano. The Astros are in first place in the American League West Division while the Twins are far behind the Kansas City Royals.
Here are the splits between the two players, in this order: AB, R, H, 2B, HR, RBI, SB, CS, BB, SO, BA/OBP/SLG/OPS.
Correa — 275, 38, 76, 17, 16, 45, 11, 3, 29, 58, .276/.345/.513/858
Sano — 179, 33, 53, 13, 15, 42, 1, 1, 34, 77, .296/.405/.620/1.025
Sano has Correa beat in five categories and, despite playing in 20 fewer games as I mentioned before, is barely behind Correa in doubles, homers, and runs batted in.
One big thing Correa has over Sano, and it might be a deciding factor, is that he plays a position. Sano has been used in a designated hitter role, but has played some third base and has not committed an error in 15 chances. Correa has committed eight errors, but is playing one of the toughest positions in baseball.
However, I don’t think a lot of people, even baseball people, realize how hard it can be to stay engaged in a game when a player is not playing in the field. How many players have turned out to be reliable designated hitters in their career compared to the number of players who have failed being a designated hitter?
Correa is just 20 years of age and what he is doing at that age is impressive, but is it more impressive than what Sano has done? I might be a bit of a homer for Sano, and I have certainly seen him play a lot more than Correa, but if Sano has a tremendous month of September and is able to lead the Twins to the playoffs, I 100 percent believe he should win the award the honor over Correa.
Both players are the real deal, but I think Sano has a slight edge.
What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment.