Your place for Minnesota Twins and New Britain Rock Cats coverage, analysis and opinion.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Sano & Rosario Show: Game 1

New Britain only amassed 3 hits in the first of two 7-inning contests tonight, but to be completely honest, that wasn't the main -- or perhaps even secondary -- story. No, make no mistake, fans and reporters (including this fan/reporter) were here to see Miguel Sano, Eddie Rosario, and Angel Morales, the newest additions to the Rock Cats. I was fortunate to be in attendance, to take a few pictures, and even awful video, of the debuts.

Miguel Sano (#24), nicknamed "Boacton," warming up
One interesting item: the home plate umpire wore a camera on his facemask for the first part of the game. This was in connection with the documentary being filmed about Sano, The Miguel Sano Story. Here's some more information on that. I loved the first documentary, Ballplayer: Pelotero, and it's pretty cool that the sequel is (partly) being filmed right here. I suspect, though, that the filmmakers hope that the end of the documentary takes place a little west of Connecticut.

My biggest takeaway from the first game: Sano's defense looked good. The arm got the job done. Sano had to come in on a bunt early on and made a nice play, and he snagged a hard grounder right after (he actually took a few steps back to third base in a decent attempt to catch the runner on third, who had just broken home). At no point was there any awkward footwork or anything that would suggest that Sano was uncomfortable at that position. To be sure, he wasn't tested with a diving play, and didn't have to barehand a ball in this first game, but he looked good. Solid.

At bat, he was decent. He wasn't challenged in his first plate appearance, which ended in a 5-pitch walk. He was, however, thrown out stealing second. Don't forget -- Sano does have some speed (he stole 9 bases with Ft. Myers this spring). In his second at-bat he grounded rather routinely to third base. His final at-bat was probably the best. He was just under a fly ball, which went for a sac fly. He didn't "connect" with the pitch, yet it ended up just shy of the warning track.

You can check out awful videos of Sano's at-bats here. Again, the videos are jittery. I took them with my phone. I'll get better, maybe.

I thought Rosario played well, also. He took a 4-pitch walk in his first at-bat, hit a sinking liner to center in his second at-bat (that took a decent play from the centerfielder), and singled with a grounder up the middle in his final at-bat. No big defensive challenges that I recall.

Angel Morales batted 9th in the order. He struck out in his first at-bat, grounded out to second in his second at-bat, and grounded to short in his final trip to the plate.

General thoughts:

  • Rosario has a compact swing, and is not a huge guy, but you can see where the power comes from. For lack of a better word, he is coiled when he bats. I'm excited to watch him hit.
  • Wow, Sano is huge. Look at that picture of him compared to the other professional athletes next to him.
  • I think Sano is used to getting pitched around. The difference between High-A pitching and AA pitching is significant. Let's see Sano gets tons of pitches to hit early on, or if pitchers try to paint the corners when he bats.

Game 2 is just about to start. Let's see what happens. Expect more tweets, more awful videos, and another recap.

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