The ninth-ranked prospect by Baseball America coming into the season had earned attention after hitting 28 home runs at Low-A Beloit a season ago. However, his best work is coming right now as he's improved his ability to hit for average and cleaned up his defensive play at High-A Fort Myers.
After smacking his 15th and 16th home run of the season in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League on June 9, the Twins decided to bring Sano up to Double-A New Britain. While it's an exciting time to see a prospect with a bright future take another step, it also begs the ultimate question.
When will Sano make it to Minnesota?
With his promotion, Sano has a chance to accelerate his rise in the same way that Aaron Hicks did a season ago.
After several seasons in the lower levels of the Twins system, Hicks was able to put a solid season together for the Rock Cats. He used that momentum to claim the starting center field spot out of Spring Training and despite a slow start, he has potential to lock down the position for a long time.
A similar situation can play out for Sano if he's able to continue his dominance. Even with the presence of Trevor Plouffe at third base, it's possible that he can bypass Triple-A Rochester at the beginning of next season and make the Opening Day roster.
There could also be a situation where the Twins will wait to unleash Sano on Major League Baseball With the team being in a small market, it makes sense to let him get some at-bats in Rochester to give him the experience and keep his arbitration clock from ticking.
Even if that's the preferred route, it will be Sano's bat that will decide when he makes it to Minnesota. If he's able to continue the power that has seen him launch 71 home runs in four minor league seasons, he'll force his way onto the roster sooner than later.
Chris Schad is a lifelong Twins follower that has spent a majority of his life cheering the Twins on through the dark '90s and success of five American League Central championships in the 2000s. His work has also been published on Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @crishad.
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