This is why fans love Miguel Sano.
The 23-year-old third baseman came up with two runners on and the Twins trailing the Indians 3-1 in the ninth inning Monday night. The at-bat ended with his MLB-leading 12th walk on a fastball that missed the edge of the plate. Sano admitted after the game that he was looking for a curveball.
"Fastball, I don't see it," Sano said, according to ESPN. "You know, if he throws me a breaking ball in the middle, I swear to God, I crush it."
Fans probably swear to God they haven't heard a braggadocios quote like that from a Twins player since A.J. Pierzynski over a decade ago.
Sano is 1-for-9 in his last two games with 5 strikeouts, but on the season he's tagging the ball with 3 homers, 4 doubles and a team-leading 11 runs and RBIs. He looks like a completely different player compared to a season ago.
"Sano's average exit velocity when he makes contact on a pitch in the strike zone is 99.6 mph; that's second in all of baseball (minimum 150 total pitches seen) behind only Nelson Cruz, who comes in at 99.7. A year ago, Sano's average EV when he swung at strikes was 94.8, 35th out of 213 big leaguers who saw at least 1,500 pitches on the year. Not bad, but nowhere near what he's doing now."
Sano's walks are up, strikeouts are slightly down and he's killing the ball when he makes contact. That's a nice recipe for success.