Age (Opening Day 2011): 18
Weight: 200 lbs
How Acquired: Amateur FA, 2009
First the good. It’s very impressive for 17-year old kid to be taking as many walks as Santana did last year. Clearly he didn’t get the hits, but to show a good eye at his age is rare.
The bad? Well that would be everything else. He struck out in more than 1/3 of all of his plate appearances and unlike those that do it in the majors, he didn’t have the power to go with it.
Raw. Raw. Raw. Potential. Potential. Potential.
Santana has several good tools, including raw power, a good arm and plate discipline, but he is so far away from realizing his potential, it’s hard to get past the basics with him. Baseball Prospectus said of him prior to the season that his upside is a “prototypical power hitting RF” but is “eons away from the majors.”
The Phillies surprisingly pushed him last year, sending him to Lakewood, where he was the youngest player in team history. He struggled, getting sent down to Williamsport (though that was probably the plan all along) where his numbers improved, but were still sub par.
What to Look For in 2011
First off, it will be interesting where the Phillies put him to start the year. Do they push him again in Lakewood? Or try to keep his confidence up at Williamsport or lower.
Second, wherever he plays, can he improve on his contact rate? The walks are great, but it doesn’t matter how much you walk when you hit .211. It looks like Santana will always strikeout, but he’s got to reduce it and he’s got to do better when he gets his bat on the ball.
Grades (Out of 10)
Upside – 9
If not for his upside, he wouldn’t be anywhere near this list.
Production – 2
Only the walks keep this from a 1.
Proximity to Majors – 1
Could not be further away.
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