Miguel Sano Comeback Season is Upon Us

Photo: Estrellas Orientales (@EOBASEBALLCLUB - X)

Miguel Sano was once seen as the most exciting prospect in the Minnesota Twins organization, which at the time also included the #1 overall prospect in baseball, Byron Buxton.

The way Sano ripped through the minor leagues, crushing every single pitcher who took the mound against him, Twins fans thought they were getting, at worst, a David Ortiz type designated hitter for the next 15 years.

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At best, we hoped he’d play a decent 3rd base while crushing 40 homers and batting in 100 runs per season. As recently as 2021, many fans still held out hope Sano would live up to any semblance of the player he once projected to be.

The last time we saw Miguel Sano in the MLB

But that’s not how history played out. Miguel Sano struggled to be a consistent middle of the order bat, throughout his time with the Twins. He struggled with injuries, eating habits and many questioned his desire to be a great baseball player.

Sano’s final opportunity in Minnesota expired after the 2022 season, where he hit .083 in 71 at-bats, before completely falling off the radar for about one year. He was technically a free agent last season, but never got an opportunity, leading many to believe Miguel’s Major League Baseball career is over.

And it still might be. But not if it’s up to Miguel Sano, who is back on the baseball field playing in the Dominican Winter League for Estrellas Orientales, the same team that San Diego Padres players Fernando Tatis Jr, Eguy Rosario and Jurickson Profar are playing for.

This week, video surfaced on Twitter of Sano hitting an absolute bomb over the left field fence. Man, I miss that swing.

Miguel Sano outshining MLB regulars in Dominican Winter League

For Estrellas, Sano’s numbers are pretty impressive. They aren’t — ‘jump off the page’ or ‘sign this man immediately’ — good. But ‘respectable’ might not be strong enough.

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Sano is an Estrellas lineup regular, unlike Fernando Tatis Jr, who has 1.062 OPS in 33 plate appearances. And of any Estrellas player with over 100 at-bats this winter, Miguel (107) has the highest OPS (.750) and most doubles (30) on the team. He’s racked up the fifth most RBI (13), 3rd most walks (14), and ONLY the 2nd-most strikeouts.

That’s not sarcasm you’re reading. Yes, he’s near the top of the team in strikeouts, but his number (30) doesn’t jump off the page compared to the rest of his teammates, which surprised me a bit. He’s one of five players on roster with 24 or more strikeouts. Eguy Rosario has more (38) and has only 8 more at-bats than Miguel.

Estrellas Orientales Individual Statistics – 2023-24

1Fernando Tatis Jr.248332689111475.346.485.5771.062
2Miguel Sanó30271078913201002131430.225.346.405.750
3Jonathan Araúz2426101821422401141621.268.376.354.730
4Vidal Bruján25431861452438710183627.262.405.324.730
5Jurickson Profar30228768914502131316.206.337.368.705
6Eguy Rosario2333115981223802181138.235.316.378.693
7Dairon Blanco3028117105153051013824.286.339.352.692
8José Tena22229180122220041021.275.363.300.663
9Yasiel Puig321865606152016412.250.308.333.641
10José Barrero25309477161740191020.221.323.312.634
11Lewin Díaz2640141128827411191025.
12Endy Rodríguez237221923200134.
13Vimael Machín29410821000222.125.300.125.425
14Robinson Canó4025100995185007114.
15Wilin Rosario348131001000033.100.308.100.408
16José Fernández30151100000000.
33 Players26.7491876162922838274922191196381.235.319.332.651
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/23/2023

Miguel Sano comeback season is upon us

There’s no doubt about it, looking at the team’s individual stats on the winter season, that Sano has been a better hitter than multiple MLB players on his team, including the aforementioned Rosario and Profar.

I’m not saying Miguel Sano is on the fast track back to Major League Baseball, but he is clearly taking one last realistic shot at a comeback and his odds of stepping into an MLB batters box again seem to be climbing. He’s gotten himself back into shape and seems more motivated than ever before.

Sometimes, it takes reaching rock bottom before you realize how big of an opportunity you’re about to miss out on. At 30-years-old, there should be plenty of swings left in that bat. While it won’t be for the Minnesota Twins, I’d still love to see a Miguel Sano comeback story anyway.

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