MLB Prospect Review: Domingo Santana, OF, Houston Astros

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Astros made an unexpected move this week, after stating this weekend that Domingo Santana was not quite ready for a call up, and then following that up with adding him to the 25 man roster on Tuesday. What can he do for the rest of the season, and what is his long-term potential?

Throughout the minor league season, the prospect staff here at Fake Teams will look at a number of prospects for your fantasy and dynasty teams. Some will be prospects that you'll see this year in the majors, while others are interesting targets in longer term formats. Up today is a prospect who was called up on Tuesday, outfielder Domingo Santana of the Houston Astros

The Basics

Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 225 lbs.
On 40-Man Roster: Yes 
Options Remaining: 2 (2014)
DOB: 8/5/1992 (Age 21 Season)

His History

Santana was signed by the Phillies out of the Dominican Republic back in March 2009, and was given an advanced assignment in the Gulf Coast League that season despite being just 16 years old at the time. He hit .288 with six home runs in his 37 games there, an excellent performance given that age. The Phillies moved him up to their short-season affiliate in the New York Penn-League, where the numbers were a bit more in line with what you'd expect from a 17-year old against advanced competition. He was promoted to full-season Low-A about halfway through the season, where his struggles continued. Overall, he hit .211 with eight home runs and nine stolen bases.

He returned to Low-A Lakewood for the 2011 season, and hit .269 with seven home runs over 96 games there. His organization changed at this point, as he was included as the fourth prospect in the Hunter Pence trade, and finished the year with the Astros' Low-A affiliate in Lexington. He appeared in just 17 games there before the end of the season, but hit another five home runs and provided a .382 batting average.

Santana was promoted by the Astros to High-A Lancaster, where he showed some of the potential that made him a top prospect despite mixed results on the stat sheet. He hit .302 with 23 home runs and 97 runs batted in, although questions followed given the poor strikeout-to-walk performance (55 BB, 148 K in 119 games) as well as the high offense environment that follows the southern half of the California League.

The 2013 season brought Santana to AA, where he showed that the power was legitimate, hitting another 25 home runs and added 12 stolen bases. It came at the cost of the high average though, as he hit .252 with 46 walks and 139 strikeouts. He started this season at AAA Oklahoma City, where he has been crushing baseballs across the PCL. Through 84 games, he has 13 home runs and a .304 batting average, along with 22 doubles and five stolen bases.

The Scouting Report

Hit (AVG): Santana is not expected to provide a high batting average in the majors, with .240-.250 more likely than .280+. He's shown a high propensity to strikeout in the minors, posting rates above 27% at each stop, which stems from his approach at the plate. Reports have shown him to be aggressive at the plate, while also struggling at time with pitch recognition.

Power (HR, RBI): Santana fits the prototype for a power hitting right fielder, capable of providing 20-25 home runs each year. His raw power is enough that he could provide even more, but the strength of his hit tool will determine how likely that is. It's worth noting with Santana that he has shown consistent opposite field power as well, which should keep pitchers from exploiting his approach somewhat.

Speed (R, SB): Santana isn't considered a burner on the basepaths, but should provide a few stolen bases per season. I can see 4-6 on a fairly regular basis from him.

Defense: Santana has a strong enough arm to play consistently in right field, although he will likely be in left field for the foreseeable future with George Springer holding down that spot.

What Can He Do for Your Fantasy Team?

For the rest of the season, I can see him hitting .250 with 7-9 home runs, assuming that he gets the majority of the at bats in left field for the rest of the year.

Conclusions

I don't know how much this move had to do with the data breach that occurred, but regardless of what the reasons for Santana's call up are, he's an interesting player for deeper formats for the rest of the season, and could be useful in as shallow as 12-team leagues depending on the size of your roster.

Sources

Baseball America
Baseball Reference
Baseball Prospectus
The Baseball Cube
Fangraphs
MLB Farm
MILB.com
The Crawfish Boxes
Youtube

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