Let me turn off "esc. to save", give me a save button in the esc screen, allow me to have more than one save file for the same play through, don't save on a "You Died" screen, don't save on my behalf at all, I know when I'll want to save the game. Dat is all, thank you. I will now explain why.
You save a game in case something goes wrong, so that if something goes wrong, you can load an earlier version of the game. If I get in a bad spot, and am going to die, I do not want to save on esc. If I am in a You Died screen, I certainly don't want the game to save on esc, because when I see that I want to quit and load up a previous version of my play through, not a (Rather frustrating) You Died screen. I don't want to play the game because I know that if I die in the game my older saves are pointless. It also saves on "You Died" even if you go straight to the title menu? What is the point in that? What if I want to test if I can fall down a height or fight a group of mobs, I save before just in case and then I die and I'm forced to take it if I die? It's just really frustrating and I don't know why the PC version of Minecraft does it like this. I put a few hours into a game without realising it saved on "You Died"... man I've never been that frustrated with a game before.
are you playing Minecraft or Minecraft:java? Minecraft autosaves. I don't know how java version works. Its a different game. If you want to cheat and save every two mins rather than being cautious then you need to make a copy. Slightly more long winded, but essentially the same. Alternatively, if you're quite happy cheating then just enable cheats.