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Tommy John surgery will sideline Twins prospect Miguel Sano for season

Miguel-Sano-TwinsThe Minnesota Twins have two of the best position player prospects in Major League Baseball. Outfielder Byron Buxton sits atop MLB.com’s prospect rankings for 2014, while third baseman Miguel Sano is just below at No. 4.

The Twins have confirmed Sano will be sidelined for the upcoming season after team physicians determined Tommy John surgery would be needed to repair ligament damage in his right elbow.

Prior to the 2013 season, MLB.com ranked Sano No. 12 on their list of prospects. Then, he went out and produced a .280 average with 30 doubles, 35 home runs, 103 RBI, and 11 stolen bases in 123 games between the Advanced-A and Double-A levels.

Similar production at the minor league level this year may have led to an appearance in the big leagues sometime later in the season. Unfortunately, the development and progression of one of baseball’s more talented young players has now been delayed.

Twins prospect Miguel Sano benched for pimping home run (Video)

Miguel-Sano-TwinsMinnesota Twins prospect Miguel Sano has not played for the Double-A New Britain Rock Cats since Tuesday. A glance at the game log for that night would tell you Sano homered against the Portland Sea Dogs, which might make the fact that he has been riding the pine confusing. However, it was the way he acted after hitting that homer that got the 20-year-old benched.

Sano took a couple of steps down the first base line after blasting the homer and then paused briefly to admire it. He then proceeded to take a roughly 29-second trot around the base paths. As Hardball Talk pointed out, David Ortiz is considered a slug and he averages 28 seconds during his home run trot. No other MLB player exceeds 26 seconds.

New Britain manager Jeff Smith was not pleased with the antics, and Sano hasn’t played since. Sano is hitting .294 with 26 home runs and and 76 RBI between Single-A and Double-A this season, so Smith is obviously making a loud statement by leaving him on the bench. It’s probably better that he learn these lessons now.