It feels like Miguel Sano has been on fantasy radars forever, perennially appearing as a “breakout” or “buy low” in recent seasons. However has the time finally come to write him off and move on (even when he’s healthy, as he’s once again battling an injury)? Even the biggest believers have to be finding it harder and harder to buy in, whether it’s due to injuries or lack of production. Just look at last year’s numbers, for instance:
266 At Bats
.199 Batting Average (53 Hits)
13 Home Runs
0 Stolen Bases
.281 On Base Percentage
.398 Slugging Percentage
.286 Batting Average on Balls in Play
No one is about to question the power he brings, including hitting 25+ HR in back-to-back seasons (both of which came in less than 450 AB) and owning a career 23.8% HR/FB. Couple that with a career 42.6% Hard% and an 11.9% career walk rate and what’s the problem?
His inability to make consistent contact looms large, and he continues to struggle against all types of pitches. Even as he “improved” last season, most notably against offspeed pitches (he had a 27.73% Whiff% in ’17), it was hardly enough:
- Hard – 11.56%
- Breaking Balls – 23.33%
- Offspeed – 21.24%
Those numbers have helped lead to a career 15.8% SwStr% and a 36.3% strikeout rate (35.8% is his career best). Couple that with a pull heavy approach (23.0% Oppo%), which will make him prone to the shift, and his fly ball tendencies (42.6% for his career) and regardless of how hard he hits the baseball it will be tough to carry an inflated BABIP.
Power is nice, but the risks loom large in his average and unless he’s going to stay on the field (which he hasn’t proven capable of yet) and hit 40+ HR it’s simply not enough. In dynasty formats maybe he’s worth stashing to see if he can figure it out. In yearly formats it’s easy to say the risk outweighs the reward. It gets even worse with how much deeper 3B has become, because there are a plethora of alternatives to invest in.
Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball