Danny Santana – Twins Daily Adopt-A-Prospect 2014

April 2, 2014 – Intro

Name: Danny Santana
Position: SS
Birthday: November 7, 1990
Height/Weight: 5-11/160
Bats: Switch
Throws: Right
Hometown: Monte Plata, Dominican Republic

2014 marks Santana’s seventh season in the Twins system and he’s coming off a 2013 campaign where he received mixed reviews in New Britain. He hit for an average of .297 in 587 plate appearances and stole 30 bases in 43 attempts.

However, his strikeout to walk ratio was atrocious, 24 walks against 94 Ks. So even though he nearly hit .300, his on-base percentage was a fairly pedestrian .333. His control, discipline, mechanics and power have all left something to be desired since the signing with the Twins at the age of 17. But that’s all stuff that can be fixed (except for maybe power) and he has shown steady improvement in some of those areas over the last few years.
So with all those question marks why is he a top prospect?

An excellent question, so glad you asked Pessimistic Twins Fan.

Outside of Buxton and Sano, Santana is possibly the most physically gifted of the Twins prospect pool. He has good arm strength and he can fly. He put his speed on display earlier in spring training when he hit two triples in the same game, one from each side of the plate.

He also may be better at the plate than his numbers indicate. His 2013 stat line is hindered by an awful April when he hit just .235. After May 1 he hit .314 for the Rock Cats. Considering that his batting average has improved in each season since 2011, that is a very good sign.

Danny was loosely speculated to make the Opening Day roster in the case that Pedro Florimon wasn’t ready to go, but he will start his season in Rochester (though he is on the 40-man roster), where Christopher Fee predicted him to be the club’s breakout player in his Red Wings Season Preview.

He still has a lot to prove and it should be a very interesting season for the speedster. If he can keep improving his discipline at the plate and get a handle on his defense we may be looking at the Twins’ first great shortstop since…since… (aggressive head scratching)…well, he could be really good. He’s almost as fast as Buxton!

Links:
La Velle did a great write up on him this spring, you can find it HERE
Ranked No. 11 Twins Prospect by MLB.com (one spot up from last year)
Ranked No. 14 Twins Prospect by this Aaron Gleeman guy
Player Page

Red Wings start their season tomorrow, April 3, 2:10 p.m. ET at the Buffalo Bisons. Go get ‘em Danny!