Sano homers twice, gets called up
Class A Advanced Fort Myers' Miguel Sano, continuing a season in which he's routinely put on an exceptional display of power, smacked two more home runs Sunday, his 15th and 16th of the season.
After that, it seems, Minnesota had seen enough.
The Twins promoted their top prospect to Double-A New Britain, along with sixth-ranked Minnesota prospect Eddie Rosario and Angel Morales following the Miracle's 8-6 loss at Bradenton.
Sano had torn apart the Florida State League in his 56 games with Fort Myers. The 20-year-old finished his time with the Miracle sporting a .330/.424/.655 line in 56 games. He had 48 RBIs in addition to the 16 longballs, and nine stolen bases in 11 tries.
The Dominican Republic native led the circuit in homers, slugging, OBP and he was tied for second in RBIs and third in average.
Sunday's outburst was Sano's first two-homer game of the season. He previously went yard in both halves of a doubleheader on May 21.
Twins Director of Minor League Operations Brad Steil told MLB.com that Sano, MLB.com's No. 11 overall prospect, had proven himself ready for a shot with more advanced competition.
"It's just something we were monitoring the last couple months, and they improved defensively and had good first halves offensively as well," Steil said. "We thought they accomplished enough to move up to Double-A and tackle the next challenge."
Miracle manager Doug Mientkiewicz said Sano's attitude and composure made as much of an impression upon him as his talent.
"He's a phenomenal kid, wise beyond his years. He's a great teammate, one thing he did was take guys underneath his wing. He was great to kids, great to fans and the guys really responded to him. He's a future team leader," Mientkiewicz said. "He wants to do really well. He doesn't take at-bats off, he understands the importance of being a good teammate. Obviously the talent speaks for itself, but it's the other stuff that I was pleasantly surprised at, how well he treated everyone with the team."
Mientkiewicz doesn't know how Sano will respond at the next level, but expects him to have a fighting chance.
"You never quite know if a guy is ready until they're there, but I do know that he was pretty successful here, which was a tough league to begin with," he said. "You can preach to him until you're blue in the face about what it's like at the next level, but until they see it with their own eyes you never know. But he helped us win games here, he put up the numbers."
Rosario, a 21-year-old second baseman from Puerto Rico, hit .329/.377/.527 with six homers and 35 RBIs in 52 games for Fort Myers. Morales, a 23-year-old outfielder and fellow Puerto Rican, had a .297/.364/.525 line with seven homers and 36 RBIs in 55 games.
Both Rosario and Morales also homered Sunday in the loss.
"Eddie's one heck of a second baseman. For a wiry guy, he's got a lot of pop, hits the ball well. All three of those guys, their bats get better as the game gets harder, later and tougher," said Mientkiewicz. "They feed off each other. Sending them up together is a good thing and they'll have each other to turn to when things get tough, 'cause they will struggle at different times and they're gonna need to lean on each other. But they demand themselves to play a high level, and that's why they're as good as they are."
On the horizon for Mientkiewicz's Miracle squad might now be No. 2 Twins prospect Byron Buxton. The second overall pick in last year's Draft has been to the Midwest League what Sano was to the FSL, hitting .342/.439/.562 with seven homers in 57 games.
"I wanted him out of Spring Training, I kept at it at every meeting, 'You know, he needs some humidity, he needs to come here first,'" Mientkiewicz joked. "But he maybe spent 10 days with my team in Spring Training and I got to kind of know him on a personal level, a little better. Obviously the tools are through the roof, but his parents would be proud at how he handles himself, a great kid. He still says, 'yes, sir' and I get mad at him because I'm not that old yet.
"I'm looking forward to sometime, hopefully this summer, managing him and getting him on his career also. I know the Twins organization is very excited he wears a Twins uniform, that's for sure."
Bradenton's Dan Gamache went 3-for-4 on Sunday, knocking a home run and two doubles. He plated two runs and scored twice to lead the Marauders to the win.
Jonathan Raymond is a contributor to MLB.com.