It has been a rough year for the Minnesota Twins’ top prospects this season. Phenom Byron Buxton played in just 31 games before the Twins shut him down. Third baseman Miguel Sano was lost for the season when he was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery.
Both of them were regarded as candidates to be in Minneapolis when the rosters expanded on September 1st. Now, Buxton will be lucky to make the Arizona Fall League, and Sano has already been ruled out for that.
There is a bit of sun on the horizon for Sano though. It was originally thought that he would not be able to play again until Spring Training of 2015, but Sano is ahead of schedule, and has already begun a throwing program at the Twins’ facilities in Fort Myers, Florida.
Sano has also been able to swing a bat. That could put him on track to play some in the Dominican Winter League. Any chance for Sano to knock off some rust before Spring Training is a welcome sight for Twins fans and front office personnel alike.
He was expected to compete with incumbent Trevor Plouffe for the third base job this spring. Now it looks like he will be on track to do so in 2015, and any game experience that he can get before that will only help his cause.
The Twins need his power at the major league level with the departure of Josh Willingham. Brian Dozier leads the team with 20 home runs, but the Twins covet his speed near the top of the order instead of in the middle of it.
At any rate, it looks promising for Sano to make his major league debut sometime early next season. Perhaps as soon as Opening Day!