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Rock Cats' Sano hits two more homers
Twins top prospect continues resurgence, drives in five runs
06/29/2013 1:08 AM ET
Miguel Sano ranks fourth in the Minor Leagues with 22 home runs.
Miguel Sano ranks fourth in the Minor Leagues with 22 home runs. (Kevin Pataky/MiLB.com)

Although his team came up short on Friday night, nobody could have asked for more from Miguel Sano.

"Miguel had quite a night," New Britain manager Jeff Smith said. "Quite a night."

MLB.com's No. 11 overall prospect homered twice, singled, came close to another extra-base hit and knocked in five runs in the Rock Cats' 6-5 loss to visiting Reading.

Sano has gone yard 22 times across two levels this year, placing him fourth in the Minor Leagues. He started the season with Class A Advanced Fort Myers, where he batted .330 with 33 extra-base hits and 48 RBIs in 56 games.

Promoted to the Eastern League earlier this month, the Twins' top prospect went 1-for-15 in his first six games at Double-A. But he's batting .300 with six homers and 12 RBIs in his last 11 contests.

"I think anytime, Double-A is a big jump. It's just a matter of getting consistent at-bats and the daily grind, plus the grind of long road trips," Smith said. "He was just getting used to the level, getting used to the league."

In Sano's first at-bat against the Fightin Phils, he lined a 2-1 pitch to left field for a single.

However Sano makes hitting look, "I wouldn't say it's easy for him," Smith said. "No matter how good a player you are at any level, hitting is one of the hardest things to be able to do. He controls his mechanics well. His head is very still through his swing."

Facing Reading starter Seth Rosin again in the fourth, Sano drilled the first pitch -- a slider -- over the left-field wall for a two-run shot.

"I think he was just looking for something out over the plate," Smith said, "and he got a hanging off-speed pitch."

In the seventh, the 20-year-old third baseman crushed an 0-1 pitch from Rosin.

"He hit it about as hard as you can hit it. [Center fielder] Tyson Gillies made the play of the year that I've seen in the Minor Leagues," Smith said. "He was running and running and leapt up to catch it. You can't run any further than he had to run."

In the ninth, Sano put one out of the reach of Gillies are anyone else wearing a Reading uniform. Facing reliever Tyler Knigge with two outs, two on and the Rock Cats trailing by four runs, he worked the count full before putting one over the center-field fence.

"That," Smith said, "was a good at-bat."

Sano also recorded three assists and started a double play.

"He's playing really well at third base. That's been one of his most positive things," Smith said. "I can't say enough good things about the plays he's making or the work he's put in and what his coaches have done with him. What they've done for him down in Fort Myers is really outstanding."

Sano's talents aren't limited to the ballfield. He's a star of the documentary Pelotero about prospects from his native Dominican Republic and also is the subject of another documentary that began shooting in the spring.

"The crew comes around for a couple games every homestand," Smith said. "Miguel is great about it. I think he really enjoys it."

Trevor May (6-5), the Twins' sixth-ranked prospect, struck out six but took the loss after allowing four runs on five hits and a walk over five innings.

Gillies also starred at the plate for Reading, going 4-for-5 with a pair of solo homers.

Josh Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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