Born: September 28, 1987
Height: 5′ 11″
Drafted: 22nd Round, 657th Overall, 2010
How Acquired: Draft
College: Oregon State
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Santos initially attended New Mexico Junior College, where he hit 520/570/861 as a sophomore in 2007. He must have redshirted in 2008, which accounts for him being nearly 23 when drafted. He runs well and showed a significant power spike in his senior year in 2010. He played center in college but the Pirates announced him as a secondbaseman. He played the outfield corners exclusively in his first year, but the team started playing him at second in spring training in 2011. In 2012 he was strictly back in the outfield.
Santos hit very well and very consistently for Spikes, batting over .300 in every month and walking more than he fanned. He showed some speed on the bases and good gap power.
The Pirates jumped Santos up to high A, which made sense given the fact that he was set to play the season at age 23. He began the season as a part-time outfielder, but started off hot, hitting .326 in April. His playing time increased until he was playing regularly. He was hot in the second half, hitting 344/422/537. He walked only a little less than he fanned and did very well on the bases. Santos had no platoon split to speak of. He got half of his playing time in left, but also played a little in right and 26 games at second. He made eight errors and didn’t show good range, but he has little experience there as yet.
Santos opened the season as a utility player for the Curve, but quickly got blistering hot, hitting .396 in April. At the end of the month, though, he hurt his knee in a collision at the plate and missed two months. He returned to Altoona in July and batted .393 that month before cooling off to .304 in August. He showed outstanding plate discipline, although that also tailed off in August. He had 20 walks and just 14 strikeouts in April and July, then 12 walks and 25 Ks thereafter. He played strictly in the outfield corners.
The Pirates sent Santos back to AA due to a lack of room at Indianapolis. He served as Altoona’s regular third baseman all year. He got off to a good start, but got hurt and missed the majority of April. When he came back he went into a major slump, his first real slump as a pro. He hit just .200 in May, but bounced back in June and hit reasonably well the rest of the year, although not as well as in 2012. He continued to show very good strike zone judgment, but still hit for only modest power. He didn’t have much of a platoon split. Santos struggled on defense, committing 32 errors and posting only an .895 fielding percentage.
Santos has shown himself to be a good hitter who gets on base, but he doesn’t have much power and lacks a defensive position. That’s going to make it hard for him to find a role in the majors. He’s 26 now and has yet to reach AAA. He was eligible for the Rule 5 draft, but his age lack of any clear role as a potential major leaguer probably didn’t help his odds of getting selected, which he wasn’t. Hopefully, he’ll get a chance in AAA in 2014.