The Minnesota Twins called up prospect Miguel Sano from Double-A Chattanooga on Thursday, the team announced.
Sano went on to collect his first career MLB hit in the ninth inning of the Twins' 2–0 win over the Royals on Thursday night.
Sano, a 22-year-old power-hitting third baseman from the Dominican Republic, was ranked the ninth-best minor league prospect by MLB.com and the thirteenth-best prospect by Baseball America when the season began.
The Twins optioned first baseman/designated hitter Kennys Vargas to Chattanooga in a corresponding roster move.
Sano is the second of the Twins' top prospects to be called up following centerfielder Byron Buxton's promotion last month. Buxton, who is widely considered baseball's top prospect, only got 37 at-bats in the big leagues before hitting the disabled list with a left thumb sprain.
Sano batted .274 with 15 home runs, 18 doubles and 48 RBIs in 66 games with Chattanooga.
He signed with the team in 2009 for $3.1 million and hit 35 home runs in the minors in 2013, but he injured his elbow while playing in the Dominican Winter League.
Sano sat out all of last season following Tommy John surgery to reconstruct a partial torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.
The Twins improved to 42-37 with their win over Kansas City on Thursday in the opener of a four-game series, putting them 3.5 games behind the Royals in the American League Central. All told, Sano went 1 for 4 with two strikeouts in his debut.
Sano’s arrival could be a boost to the Minnesota offense, which ranks in the bottom third of the American League in runs scored, on-base percentage, slugging and OPS.
- Scooby Axson