StaTuesday: Twins' Miguel Sano mashing again after rocky start
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
|Ronald Acuna Jr.||ATL||199||16||0.281||0.370||0.547|
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