Sano said he dropped 15 pounds this offseason, Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press reports.
Sano made those comments at TwinsFest, which took place on the final weekend of January, so that may have changed since then, and it'll be interesting to see how much his listed weight of 260 pounds on MLB.com changes. It's encouraging to see that effort, either way. However, while removing extra mass may cut down on strikeouts, fantasy owners shouldn't expect miracles. Sano, who turns 24 in May, remains a hacker who should be drafted primarily for his power, which could result in close to 40 home runs even with less bulk on his frame. He launched 25 in only 437 at-bats last year, after all.
Sano launched his 25th home run of the year in the third inning, padding Minnesota's early lead with a towering drive into the left field bleachers. His second season was a disappointment compared to his rookie year, as Sano's OPS dropped from .916 to .781. The 23-year-old has 40-homer power if he stays healthy, but he needs to bring his career 35.8 percent strikeout rate down to avoid becoming a three-true-outcomes type of hitter.
Sano went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and grounded into a double play Saturday against the White Sox.
Sano is currently fifth in MLB in strikeouts (178), and is still struggling to make contact (hitting .233) in his second full season in the bigs. He's still only 23 years old, but Sano's value will be limited if he remains a three-true-outcomes designated hitter; suspect defense has kept him from playing in the infield and outfield. Like many young players, Sano has struggled the most against the change-up, so figuring out how to hit that pitch better next year would help.
Sano is out of the lineup for Game 2 of Thursday's doubleheader against the Tigers.
Sano made his return to the lineup in Game 1 following a 10-day absence due to back issues, starting at third base. He doubled in four trips but also struck out three times to bring his total to 164 on the season. As his strikeout rate has remained north of 35 percent, his walk rate has fallen by more than four percent from a year ago.
It's not that surprising to see Sano back in the lineup after he missed the last eight games with an ailing back, as things had been trending in this direction. However, it is a bit of a surprise to see the
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