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Article: The Past and the Future of Danny Santana

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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 12:50 AM

You can view the page at http://www.twinsdail...f-Danny-Santana

#2 old nurse

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 04:19 AM

Is the day off in Detroit a reward or punishment?

#3 twinstalker

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 04:27 AM

I think the question with the bat is whether MLB pitchers find a hole, and he looks terrible, or whether he just reverts to his minor league numbers. I suspect it's the latter, and that puts him in the backup category, though with the Twins it might be enough to start for a couple of years.

#4 Seth Stohs

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 07:17 AM

Is the day off in Detroit a reward or punishment?


Fair question... the "day off" is a reward, the "in Detroit" makes it a good question.

#5 slash129

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 07:37 AM

I think the question with the bat is whether MLB pitchers find a hole

I would label it a vulnerability, but any pitcher who can consistently throw a nice breaking ball that drops inside and almost hits Danny's back foot can make him look silly at this point.

#6 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 08:16 AM

What does the future hold for Twins' middle infielders and corner out fielders, is another question. Santana is young and new and trying to learn his way in the big leagues plus he must play an unfamiliar position. I understand this. However it is fundamental that he is supposed to take charge on those balls hit in the gap and bloops hit just into the outfield. His apparent reluctance to take charge yesterday resulted in our best player being injured. Molitor and Gardy need to solve this serious problem quickly. Tell Santana in the presence of all middle infielders and all possible corner out fielders that Santana needs to take charge in these situations. Then tell Santana again and again.

#7 birddog

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 08:47 AM

I see that Rosario is playing CF regularly at New Britain and my hope and guess is that he will be called up sometime soon to man CF and Santana moves to short. Escobar has proven he is more of a utility infielder than a regular, although he has impressed so far. Fuld has good numbers in the minors but he also has proved that he is more of a backup than someone who can play CF every day. Adding Sano and Buxton to this Twins lineup for next year really has me excited about Twins baseball again. Not to mention the SP at Rochester and New Britai--along with the success JO Berrios is having at Fort Myers.

#8 Dantes929

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 09:13 AM

I see that Rosario is playing CF regularly at New Britain and my hope and guess is that he will be called up sometime soon to man CF and Santana moves to short. Escobar has proven he is more of a utility infielder than a regular, although he has impressed so far. Fuld has good numbers in the minors but he also has proved that he is more of a backup than someone who can play CF every day. Adding Sano and Buxton to this Twins lineup for next year really has me excited about Twins baseball again. Not to mention the SP at Rochester and New Britai--along with the success JO Berrios is having at Fort Myers.

I was thinking also that Santana will regress to his minor league numbers and we will fall out of love with him but he is exciting right now. I do believe that one playing the most in the next year will be Rosario. I was very skeptical that Escobar would be worthwhile but he has played great. How has he proven he is more of a backup? If he has proven anything it is that he is better as a full timer but really he hasn't proven anything yet except that he can be very good for a third of a season as a regular.

#9 Brandon

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 09:14 AM

If Santana continues to hit over .300 he isn't going anywhere. He'll be the CF until h gets traded or moved to LF or RF when Buxton comes up. Unless something changes that real soon. I suspect if Santana finishes the year in CF then he will remain in the OF for the remainder of his career. That is my prediction.

#10 spycake

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 10:04 AM

.476 BABIP -- sustainable or no? :)

#11 halfchest

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 11:14 AM

Eduardo Escobar . . .

I know this is the Danny Santana story and I don't mean to derail any conversation but we've seen a few late bloomers like Span, Cuddy, Dozier, Plouffe. Maybe Escobar is one of those guys?

He never really hit a lot in the minors until last year but I noticed he was a top 100 prospect during the 2010-2011 offseason. Moved up pretty consistently for a guy who never hit that great at any level and got his first taste of the bigs in 2011 (22).

He had a hot start last year then cooled off rather quickly. However, he went to AAA and did great to the tune of a .880 OPS of 43 games. Now he's started off this year with a .800 OPS over 52 games. It's possible he turned a corner? 100 games is more than just a hot streak right? If he can play solid defense and even carry around a .750 OPS that would make him a pretty solid starting SS in the majors right?

Maybe we did get something for Liriano after all.

#12 halfchest

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 11:15 AM

Sorry, I meant to post that as a reply to those saying Escobar is a utility guy. That still may end up the case but how long does he have to keep it up for us to consider he might just be a starting MLB caliber SS?

#13 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 11:16 AM

Sorry, I meant to post that as a reply to those saying Escobar is a utility guy. That still may end up the case but how long does he have to keep it up for us to consider he might just be a starting MLB caliber SS?


In my eyes, 1+ seasons. Keep rolling him out there until he fails or there is a better option.

I'm still not sold on Escobar but what he's doing right now is why I wanted to see him start over Florimon out of ST. At least he had a chance of succeeding.

#14 Linus

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 12:00 PM

The center field mess has produced many unintended consequences. Santana's lack of playing time at short is one of them, and I think it will end up being a problem. I love Escobar and have since we acquired him. I'm glad they are giving him a shot because I always felt it was wrong to pigeon hole a 23 year old as a "utility" player. However, I think there is a very real chance that Santana will end up being the clearly superior player if he ever gets the chance to play short regularly. Given the severe lack of talent at short in this organization, Santana's development there is a big deal IMO, as they literally have nobody else (sorry Polanco fans, he is a much longer shot at ever making it than Santana or Escobar and there is no one else. I'm not counting Gordaon as he is 18 and not played a professional game).

#15 troyhobbs

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 12:07 PM

I would label it a vulnerability, but any pitcher who can consistently throw a nice breaking ball that drops inside and almost hits Danny's back foot can make him look silly at this point.


Apparently there aren't many consistent pitchers then because the kid's hitting like .370, nothing silly about that. Kid can play, he's a little raw but the talent is there and until there are 8 guys on the squad better than him they should keep plugging him in somewhere.

#16 Shane Wahl

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 12:27 PM

Santana is not, magically, a great hitter. This could really burn the Twins when he returns to what he has always been (a goodish hitter, with many issues to work out).

#17 drivlikejehu

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 12:43 PM

Santana has serious plate discipline problems. He is going to crash, sooner rather than later. Escobar isn't legit either.

They both still have some positional/defensive value, but Santana should be in AAA to work on his fielding since he has work to do as a SS.

#18 JeffReboulet

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 12:59 PM

Santana has serious plate discipline problems. He is going to crash, sooner rather than later. Escobar isn't legit either.

They both still have some positional/defensive value, but Santana should be in AAA to work on his fielding since he has work to do as a SS.


Obviously, Santana cools off. Probably sooner than later. Play the hot hand until that happens. If we can get a month or two of this level of production, it's a win. And parallels what we got from Collabello in April.

When he does cool off (hopefully not crashing and burning), we have options in Fuld and hopefully Hicks.

Re: Escobar. He is T-3rd in the AL for doubles. Not legit? COME ON! :D I don't think he keeps this pace up, but he has been hitting well enough this year to give me hope he has the potential to be a league average shortstop offensively (he's there defensively). If that turns out to be the case, that is a HUGE win for this team, considering our shortstop situation the past few years.

#19 ericchri

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 01:45 PM

Can Danny Santana be a guy who hits .290/.330/.380 (.710) in the big leagues? If so, and he is able to play solid defense, he can be a very productive major league shortstop.


I think this is the part I think about after reading the article. He's coming back down from these ridiculous heights he's at right now, everybody understands that. But a batting line similar to his minor league numbers makes him a pretty good shortstop (or centerfielder, honestly) if it's paired with good defense.

Is Santana going to go the way of previous Danny (Valencia) who got off to a great start and then faceplanted? He's a switch-hitter with a massively SSS vs. lefties (1.256 OPS in 17 AB) and his split vs. righties is still a very respectable .348/.366/.449/.815, so who knows. As opposed to Valencia he'll be batting left-handed most often, and with his speed out of the lefty box he should beat out a few infield hits Valencia never would have. It'll be interesting to see what kind of power he ultimately shows. I don't really care all that much if a speedy SS or CF hits lots of homeruns, but it's nice if they can at least show the ability, and apparently he can.

Ultimately I want to see him playing at SS, he just seems to have the characteristics I'd love. Escobar's doing a very good job there, but Santana seems to have just a hair better arm and more running speed. I think he makes a really fun #9 hitter when his hitting falls back to Earth. We're just stuck in a situation where playing CF is the most valuable thing for the team right now. Once Buxton (or Hicks or Rosario, theoretically) is ready for the job, though, it becomes complicated. Hopefully by then we'll have a better idea of what Santana and Escobar can truly offer. It's fun watching them play well, but right now it's understandably uncertain how good they'll really be. Next Dozier success story? Next Valencia flameout? For now I'm enjoying watching him play as his great start is a big reason why it looks like I'll have reason to watch the Twins this year all season long instead of giving up in July.

#20 halfchest

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 01:54 PM

To clarify from earlier comments, yes I think Escobar and Santana will both come down to earth, especially Santana.

Escobar however, has been hitting very well for close to 2/3's of a season when you combine his AAA production last year. Even if he levels off and becomes more of a .725-.750 OPS guy that's still good from the SS position. The longer he keeps it up the more I believe he could be a regular and not a utility guy.

Fun thing I did earlier. I searched sortable stats and it brought me to a Yahoo page and I put it at SS and took off the AB qualifier. The Twins have like 3 of the top 6 SS with Santana, Escobar, and Dozier. Just made me laugh.

#21 Linus

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 01:57 PM

If the Twins ever find a real center fielder and Santana takes over at short - they could finally have the deep and flexible bench Gardy wants with Escobar and Nunez swinging the bats decently and playing many different positions adequately.

#22 Dantes929

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 02:12 PM

If Santana or Escobar can put up that slash line over the long term the shortstop position is solved and perhaps Gordon should start playing 3rd base.

#23 Brandon

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 02:41 PM

I think that both Santana and Escobar will go back in production. I don't see anyone who is a .370 hitter. if he stays around .280 to .300 he has value as a replacement CF. Escobar is filling in fine at SS, and for now, I do not see any serious line up holes. all I see is a Burton in the pen hole and Corriea in the rotation. Everyone else is at least adequate. There are some bench holes but that is expected or the bench players would be starters. I would like to see May up in place of Corriea just to see how another rookie can help out and get experience in our quest for the wildcard race..... or Division race for that matter.

Edited by Brandon, 12 June 2014 - 02:59 PM.


#24 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 03:00 PM

If Santana or Escobar can put up that slash line over the long term the shortstop position is solved and perhaps Gordon should start playing 3rd base.


Way too premature for that. Gordon should stay at short as long as he can play there.

#25 twinsfan34

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 03:23 PM

The weird thing...as successful as Santana is...many of his "outs" are hard hit liners that required a good play by the other team.

He hasn't looked phased at all even when down 0-2.

Manny Machado, though he was only 20 at the time, and others never hit as well in the minors as they did in the bigs. Could just be the development was still on an upward plane and that time continued through the bigs instead of what was in the minors.

IF there's a pitch or situation he looks bad at...what are those pitches/situations?

#26 Marta Shearing

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 03:39 PM

I always thought Rosario was more of a corner outfielder. Does he have the speed to play CF? If so, he'd be the perfect stopgap until Buxton and then Rosario slides over. Gotta get Santana back to SS.

#27 troyhobbs

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 03:48 PM

I don't think Santana has as low of a floor as some of the posters do, obviously he's not going to flirt w/ .400 his entire career but he looks like a pretty good baseball player to me and his minor league stats are just fine except for the errors so I don't know why some people don't want to jump on the bandwagon.

#28 Thrylos

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 05:27 PM

Escobar has proven he is more of a utility infielder than a regular, although he has impressed so far..


How has he proven that he is not a regular, if he has been impressive?

As a matter of fact, he is hitting .308/.347/.453 (.800 OPS) with an 122 OPS+ Any idea who was the last Twins' starting SS who had better OPS+ in a season or even half a season? Hint: The last one to come close was awarded the MVP in that season.
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#29 Thrylos

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 05:30 PM

Way too premature for that. Gordon should stay at short as long as he can play there.


Substitute "Polanco" with "Gordon" and I would agree ;)

Not sure what has gotten into Santana, but remember Colabello was hitting like Babe Ruth before there were enough advanced scouting reports on him...
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#30 Thegrin

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 06:05 PM

Of course both Santana and Escobar's averages are going to drop. However, if they continue to hit the ball hard, they should continue to play. If they continue to be adequate fielders, they should continue to play.

Also remember that Pedro Florimon is still in the Twins system, and if he were to start hitting in Rochester and Escobar should slump too far, then I think we are more likely to see Florimon again than Santana at short. A major league .235 average, with some walks would make Florimon a valuable player.