“Last year in Double-A, I cried a lot."
It was the first time Sano had spoken publicly about his daughter's death. Some people in the Twins' clubhouse didn't even know what he was going through last year, MLB.com says, but those who did know kept it quiet until Sano was ready to talk about it on his own.
“I got hurt, I had surgery, and I lose the baby — it was a bad year for me,” Sano said, according to the Star Tribune. “Really bad. But I’m here now. I’m OK. My wife and I will go on.”
Sano started off slowly with the Chattanooga Lookouts in the Class AA Southern League in 2015, after missing the 2014 for Tommy John surgery, ESPN says. Lookouts Manager Doug Mientkiewicz told the Times something seemed off about him, noting "The effort was there ... Just mentally, he’d kind of tap out."
But when Sano came back from the All-Star break, everything was different, Mientkieweicz told the Times, noting he "embarrassed Double-A ball."
He was called up to the Twins in early July, and went on to hit 18 home runs to finish third in American League rookie of the year voting.
"Sano’s success last year was even more remarkable because of the grief he endured while achieving it," the New York Times' Tyler Kepner, who first reported how Sano is looking ahead following his daughter's death, wrote.
Every time Sano goes up to bat, he's reminded of his daughter. He has Angelica's name tattooed across his right forearm as a tribute to her – and plays every game in her honor, he told the Pioneer Press.
Over the weekend, Sano's wife told him she'd like to have another baby, reports note.