As far as I can tell, this is the only picture that exists of Domingo Santana. Find another one. I dare you. It’s fitting that you can’t see his face. Santana is the “white whale” of the Phillies’ farm system, a kid signed at Age 16 for $330,000 (beating out the Yankees) and burst onto the scene in the Gulf Coast rookie league.
He’s got raw power, a projectable frame and a whole lot of time to either completely tank or become a super prospect. So he’s pretty much he’s like many of the Phillies’ current prospects after they traded away the majority of their MLB-ready talent the last 2 years: Intriguing as hell, but nowhere close to making an impact.
Height/Weight: 6’5”, 200 lbs
Hometown: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
How Acquired: Amateur FA signing in 2009
Two stats stand out to me here: the HR’s and the K’s. For a 16-year old to have the power to hit 6 HR in 118 AB off of any level of professional pitching is impressive. The rest of the Phillies’ GCL squad (including several high draft picks) had a total of 11 HR in 1,744 ABs. Santana’s HR rate was 8 times higher than the rest of the team. I imagine Phillies’ scouts are tempering expectations, but as this kid grows into his body (6’5”, 200 at age 16), he could end up having elite power potential.
The other thing is the K’s, which show just how much work he has to do. 44 K’s in 118 AB. Ryan Howard had 186 K’s in 618 ABs this year. Santana’s rate would put him at 230 K in 618 AB. That’s ridiculously high, especially against Rookie league pitching.
Like I said, Santana is a bit of a mystery at this point since he hasn’t played above Rookie Ball. The only scouting report I could find on him was from Baseball America, and doesn’t tell us much except that he also has a great arm…
Santana is a 6-foot-5 righthanded hitter with a plus arm in right field. He’s an average runner with a long, projectable frame and is still learning to adjust to breaking balls.
So he’s got a lot of raw talent and potential, but it’s going to take a lot of coaching and hard work to realize it.
Path to the Majors
It’s hard to project the path to the majors for someone this young. I imagine we won’t see him this summer until Rookie League starts up again. If he does well, they might send him to Short Season A in 2011, and then Lakewood in 2012, when he will be 19. If he’s goes up one slot each year, that would be A+ in 2013, AA in 2014 and AAA/MLB in 2015 (at age 22). Needless to say, he might be a fixture on this list for awhile, but he is one of, if not the, most intriguing prospects in the system because he is such an unknown quantity.
For prospects 11-20, and all other Phillies’ prospects posts, visit the Top Prospects page.