I made a list over my winter vacation from school strategizing what players I wanted to check out this year in Durham. The International League does not play a balanced schedule, so some of the players in the league only make one swing through town during the season. If you miss them that one time, you might not ever get to see them at AAA again. It's sort of an annual tradition for me and I rarely miss something whom I really want to see.
I decided to place the Rochester Red Wings at the top of my list this season. The Red Wings are the Triple-A affiliate for the Minnesota Twins and they will be making one appearance in Durham towards the end of July. The team will likely feature slugging third baseman Miguel Sano who is one the top power prospects in the minors. They could possibly have Byron Buxton by that time too, but I do not think the Twins are in a hurry with him. Since Buxton played in A ball last year, I would guess he would be in Double A a full season.
Anyway, I will end up checking out at least one of the Bulls games against the Red Wings and hopefully will get a good luck at Sano. Last season Sano managed 35 home runs in the Eastern League in Double A. He's recently made some bold prediction about his total for the coming season. In the meantime, I went after my first autograph of the Twins future third baseman. He has a few out on the market, but I managed to pick up a nice copy of his 2010 Bowman Platinum card.
Sano's rookie cards are all 2010 issues with several being autographed. This card and his Bowman autograph are both on-card signatures. Sano cards can be a little bit pricey, but if you are patient on an auction, you can find one for right around $30. If you are willing to pick up a newer Sano autograph you can find them for less than $20. I figure he's a pretty good bet to make the Majors and be an everyday at this point, so I am willing to take the gamble on owning his autograph. Hopefully he will still be in Rochester in July and has a good run of years ahead of him in Minnesota.