StaTuesday: Twins' Miguel Sano mashing again after rocky start

August 27, 2019

Miguel Sano's much-hyped return following a lost 2018 season was nearly derailed before it began.

An offseason foot injury delayed the 26-year-old's debut until May 16, but his swing was cause for concern.



His struggles came to a head in mid-June.

Sano went 0-for-7 with five strikeouts back on June 18, then 0-for-7 with three more on June 27, as the Twins tinkered with his mechanics.

And while there were signs of improvement, the results were worrying: Sano went 3-for-38 at the plate over that span, striking out 21 times.

Remarkably, he and the Twins' coaching staff figured it out on the fly: Sano is hitting .271/.376/.596 with a .973 OPS and 14 home runs in 47 games since July 1.

Those look an awful lot like the numbers that landed Sano his first All-Star nod back in 2017:  .276/.368/.538 with a .906 OPS and 21 home runs in 82 games during the first half.

MLB, home runs since July 1






































































































































































Player Team AB HR AVG OBP SLG
Mike Trout LAA 164 20 0.286 0.410 0.719
Eugenio Suarez CIN 174 19 0.270 0.351 0.626
Yuli Gurriel HOU 177 18 0.378 0.424 0.768
Nelson Cruz MIN 134 17 0.320 0.397 0.768
Josh Donaldson ATL 172 17 0.279 0.406 0.627
Ronald Acuna Jr. ATL 199 16 0.281 0.370 0.547
Cody Bellinger LAD 168 15 0.244 0.343 0.565
Jose Ramirez CLE 178 15 0.320 0.354 0.691
Paul Goldschmidt STL 178 15 0.286 0.338 0.589
Juan Soto WAS 175 15 0.280 0.401 0.582
Rafael Devers BOS 205 15 0.331 0.375 0.673
Justin Turner LAD 163 15 0.282 0.357 0.613
Gleyber Torres NYY 172 14 0.273 0.327 0.558
Jorge Soler KCR 162 14 0.290 0.422 0.598
Max Kepler MIN 186 14 0.231 0.319 0.510
Jose Altuve HOU 193 14 0.352 0.407 0.652
Miguel Sano MIN 166 14 0.271 0.376 0.596



Put another way, Sano would be on pace for 48 home runs over the course of a full season.

Sano is tied for 13th in the majors with 14 homers since July 1, and tied for second on the Twins over that span, with Minnesota' second-best slugging percentage.

Only Nelson Cruz has been better.

Sano helped the Twins to a pair of wins over the Detroit Tigers during their most-recent series, hitting three home runs and a double in three games to push his slash line to .247/.344/.579 on the season with a .923 OPS and 26 home runs.

Despite the struggles and the late start, Sano is closing in on his first 30-homer season as a pro.

If he keeps it up down the stretch, that bounce-back season could still materialize.

Statistics courtesy of Sportradar



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