Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Sano's power potential on display vs. Toronto

Third baseman homers Saturday, looking to cut down on strikeouts
MLB.com @RhettBollinger

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- After striking out in five straight at-bats and seven times in his first 10 at-bats this spring, Twins third baseman Miguel Sano joked Friday that anyone could strike him out.

But Saturday was a new day, and Sano showed the other side of his offensive potential, going 2-for-3 with a towering two-run homer to left-center off Blue Jays right-hander Mike Bolsinger in a 3-1 win at Hammond Stadium.

View Full Game Coverage

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- After striking out in five straight at-bats and seven times in his first 10 at-bats this spring, Twins third baseman Miguel Sano joked Friday that anyone could strike him out.

But Saturday was a new day, and Sano showed the other side of his offensive potential, going 2-for-3 with a towering two-run homer to left-center off Blue Jays right-hander Mike Bolsinger in a 3-1 win at Hammond Stadium.

View Full Game Coverage

"Better at-bats today," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "He had a ... knock to lead off the second, and then he got a 3-0 fastball, and what I liked about that was it was a short, compact swing and the ball was crushed."

Sano -- who is a career .249/.346/.489 hitter with 43 homers and 118 RBIs in 196 games -- has incredible power potential, but the Twins are looking for him to cut back on his strikeouts. It went the other way last year, when he struck out in 36 percent of his plate appearances, after striking 35.5 percent of the time as a rookie in '15.

Chris Davis had the highest strikeout rate among qualified hitters last year at 32.9 percent, so it's clear Sano has work to do to improve his contact rate. He remains a streaky hitter, with his homers and strikeouts coming in bunches, and the Twins would like him to improve his consistency. But moving to his natural third base position and losing 15 pounds this offseason should help his cause.

"He's a confidence guy," Molitor said. "He's just trying to find his swing early in camp. But he'll have plenty of time to hone in on things. But today was a day you build on offensively." 

Worth noting 

• Left-hander Mason Melotakis, who suffered a strained oblique before camp, is scheduled to throw his second bullpen session on Sunday after throwing his first on Friday without any issues.

• Molitor said the race for the fifth starter is still wide open, naming Trevor May, Jose Berrios, Adalberto Mejia, Ryan Vogelsong and Tyler Duffey as candidates.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

Minnesota Twins, Miguel Sano