Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sano, Rosario locked in home run battle

There have been two players that have started to come into their own for the Minnesota Twins this season. Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario are each fixtures in the middle of the line-up for the Elizabethton Twins, the high rookie level team for the Twins organization. These players took different paths when joining the Twins and now they are locked in a tight battle for the home run lead in the Appalachian League.

Eddie Rosario
The Twins used a fourth round selection in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft to pick Rosario our of Rafael Lopez Landron High School in Guayama, Puerto Rico. At 18 years old, he was sent to join the GCL Twins for the 2010 season. In that year, he put up very good numbers with a .294 BA, 5 HR, and a .781 OPS. But looking at those numbers, it is easy to see that there was some room for improvement. 

Rosario has exploded this season to become one of the most feared hitters in the Appalachian League. His batting average has climbed to .310 with a .964 OPS for the year. He has also shown a tremendous ability to steal bases with 15 for the year. The biggest jump for Rosario has been in power production and that is shown in his nine doubles and six triples. He is also tied for the league lead (see below) with 16 home runs on the season including five in his last ten games. 

Miguel Sano
One of the biggest free agent signings that the Twins have accomplished in recent memory could turn out to be this young man. A 16-year old Sano was one of the most highly touted international players in 2009 and the Twins gave him over $3 million to join their organization. At the beginning of the 2010 season, he started with the Dominican Summer League Twins and played 20 games for that club. Sano destroyed hitting at that level and was then given the opportunity to join the GCL Twins for the last 41 games of the season. Between the two levels, he combined for a .307 BA with 7 HR and an .870 OPS.

Sano is one of the younger players in the Appalachian League this season but that still has not stopped him from becoming a power threat for the Twins. His batting average and strikeout rates show that he is still very young but his power potential is evident in the rest of his statistics. He has a .276 BA with 15 doubles, six triples and a .934 OPS. Like Rosario (mentioned above), Sano is tied for the league lead with 16 home runs on the season including six in the last ten games. 

The recent stretch of games seems to show that these two players can feed off of each other's performance at the plate. They seem to have the attitude that "anything you can do, I can do better" and that has come out in the last ten games. The battle for home run supremacy in the Appalachian League will be fun to watch as the season comes to a close. It will also be fun to see how high each of these players ranks on top prospect lists at the conclusion of the season. 

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1 comment:

Andrew said...

I'm not yet huge into the Twins' minor league system, but you have to be excited by Sano!