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Article: The Past and the Future of Danny Santana

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#31 curt1965

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 07:18 PM

I agree that Danny's hitting will probably regress somewhat, but consider this. When someone comes up and performs better than expected, it can be argued that the majors provide: better lighted ballparks, better consistent pitching (around the plate, don't have to fear young, wild arms), better coaching and video, and better food, just to mention a few things.

#32 Dave T

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 07:25 PM

Santana is the team's igniter. As long as he keeps getting on base and rattling opposing pitchers, he will have a starting job somewhere on the field. I am fascinated as hell by his sudden emergence, and I really want to see how this plays out. I think his ceiling might be Cesar Tovar.

#33 jokin

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 07:35 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.


I think every Twins fan is enjoying riding the wave with Santana. Unfortunately, like in the ocean, all waves eventually hit the sandy bottom. Santana whiffs on sliders at a 42% rate, and yet he has only received 41 sliders (11.5% of all pitches received), versus 209 FBs and 56 change-ups. Look for a whole lot more whiffing at breakers in Santana's near-future. It will be interesting how both he and the Twins handle things when the league makes its adjustments.

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.



1) Except the errors is a major red flag if he's going to eventually play SS. (Needs more SS reps).
2) He has a 5% BB rate and a low 13.8% LD rate in the minors since 2011, they are eventually going to catch up with him. (Major league averages are 8.1% BB rate and 20.2% LD rate.)

Edited by jokin, 12 June 2014 - 09:48 PM.


#34 jokin

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 07:38 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?


42% whiff rate on sliders.

#35 Riverbrian

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 08:02 PM

If he cools... He cools... I'm not thinking about regression until he regresses.

Right now... He's playing himself into a job... Good for him.

His CF play is getting better as the games roll by.
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#36 jokin

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 08:22 PM

If he cools... He cools... I'm not thinking about regression until he regresses.

Right now... He's playing himself into a job... Good for him.

His CF play is getting better as the games roll by.


No doubt, he's made incremental improvements, still waiting for him to throw like an OFer instead of a SS, and hitting a cutoff man. To his credit, thus far, as shaky as he seems at times in CF, his dWAR from bRef is +0.3. (I'm wondering, did he get extra credit style points for the extra range he covers, ala that ridiculously amazing catch in AT&T "triples alley?") And again yesterday, if he was an experienced CFer, he would have been capable of playing 10-15 ft. shallower and could have called off Nunez and Dozier, thus avoiding the misplay and injury, no points off for that, but the Twins are, in fact, still playing "shorthanded" in the OF.

#37 stringer bell

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 09:24 PM

OK, Santana has hit great, but it is less than 100 plate appearances. If he has a long 0-fer or goes 4-40 (like Dozier did), the numbers wouldn't look so gaudy. If Santana were playing shortstop, we might be talking about him like Arcia--he can rake but he keeps making mistakes--so IMHO maybe it's better if he is not at short for the big league team. I like Escobar's steadiness at short and his hitting has been a surprise. I am really more comfortable with EE as the shortstop. If he stops hitting, move him to utility, but there is no way that Santana should be the everyday shortstop right now.

#38 jokin

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 09:38 PM

OK, Santana has hit great, but it is less than 100 plate appearances. If he has a long 0-fer or goes 4-40 (like Dozier did), the numbers wouldn't look so gaudy. If Santana were playing shortstop, we might be talking about him like Arcia--he can rake but he keeps making mistakes--so IMHO maybe it's better if he is not at short for the big league team. I like Escobar's steadiness at short and his hitting has been a surprise. I am really more comfortable with EE as the shortstop. If he stops hitting, move him to utility, but there is no way that Santana should be the everyday shortstop right now.


I hope no one is advocating that Santana move to SS on a regular basis yet. And I'm not sure how he gets there from here, without the everyday reps.. Classic conundrum.

#39 Monkeypaws

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 10:40 PM

At the worst, I see Santana as a Revere with more power, although perhaps not as gifted in the field, at least not yet. Ben "gets after it" pretty good out there, although Santana has a much better arm.

#40 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 06:21 AM

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.


He was in CF until he moved to 2nd. But, for perspective, Arcia was a CF for a while too... Rosario has always been praised for his athleticism and defensive skills, and his bat doesn't play well in the corners. The big thing I see from this is that Dozier is clearly entrenched at 2nd, and it does not appear that they have any plans moving him to SS.

#41 Riverbrian

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 08:43 AM

And again yesterday, if he was an experienced CFer, he would have been capable of playing 10-15 ft. shallower and could have called off Nunez and Dozier, thus avoiding the misplay and injury, no points off for that, but the Twins are, in fact, still playing "shorthanded" in the OF.


Hopefully Santana is going to keep knocking stuff off his "to learn list" and keep getting better. This is how a player moves from the IF to the OF... He simply starts playing there everyday. Usually it happens in the minors or at least Spring Training first... but this is how it's done. You put him out there until he's comfortable. Playing him in CF only occasionally every 3 weeks was a bad idea all the way around because he will be forever stuck as an inexperienced OF that way.

If you need him in CF and it seems that we do... Play him as long as his bat contributes. If his bat stops... Then you gotta look back to Hicks or Fuld.

You and I agree that the Twins made a mistake this year in regards to CF and in my mind... This is part of that correction process.

Santana has been forced to become our CF because the front office failed to adequately staff the position from an organizational standpoint.

In my opinion... Santana is doing everything he can to grab this MLB position when the opportunity arose for him. He's hitting the ball... he's running the bases aggressively and he's getting better in the OF. I'll live with his mistakes for awhile because we need someone to play CF and this is his moment and he's now our leadoff hitter and good for him. He's gotta be as happy as he can be right now.

Playing CF... Wasn't Santana's choosing... it was out of necessity because the front office failed to cover the position adequately but I have to imagine that Santana is smiling ear to ear that he has a starting MLB job right now.

People can argue weather he should be a SS or not in the future... I have no idea

Right Now... The Team needs him to be a CF because the team didn't properly cover CF in the off season. If Santana remains a CF and remains the every day starter for 2014. He'll be an experienced OF soon enough.

Although... We will be wondering why he was moved back to the INF when Buxton takes over in CF. :D

Edited by Riverbrian, 13 June 2014 - 08:46 AM.

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#42 halfchest

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 08:51 AM

He was in CF until he moved to 2nd. But, for perspective, Arcia was a CF for a while too... Rosario has always been praised for his athleticism and defensive skills, and his bat doesn't play well in the corners. The big thing I see from this is that Dozier is clearly entrenched at 2nd, and it does not appear that they have any plans moving him to SS.


Eddie's been playing about 50 50 last I checked at 2B and CF. I think trying to develop him at both positions is the smart play as long as it doesn't hurt him in the long run by not getting enough reps at either position. If he can be an adequate (see league average or close) defender at both positions and hit like he has it expands trade options or the teams options such as switching Dozier back to SS or putting him in CF until Buxton shows up. While his bat may not be amazing in a corner I think he could be average but be a plus defender. If I remember right he doesn't have the greatest arm but I might be wrong about that. Either way an outfield of Rosario, Buxton, Arcia could be very solid defensively and offensively.

#43 Outlier

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 10:20 AM

I thought it might be interesting to review what some prospect gurus said about Santana's offensive skills preceding the 2014 season.
BA: all-around offensive ability and future gap-power threat; needs work on patience and 2-strike approach
BP: Contact ability from both sides but not sold on his bat as major league pitching will expose it
MLB: A fast bat with the chance to be a top-of-the-order type of catalyst who can score runs and steal bases. His biggest issue has been consistency, learning to focus on every pitch and at-bat

Mixed reviews, but it's interesting that BA and MLB both seem to believe in the bat if he can focus and be patient. Perhaps playing in the majors has provided him a challenge and he understands that now is the time when he needs to have a mature approach and be involoved in every play, and every at bat, and every pitch.

#44 troyhobbs

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 11:38 AM

I thought it might be interesting to review what some prospect gurus said about Santana's offensive skills preceding the 2014 season.
BA: all-around offensive ability and future gap-power threat; needs work on patience and 2-strike approach
BP: Contact ability from both sides but not sold on his bat as major league pitching will expose it
MLB: A fast bat with the chance to be a top-of-the-order type of catalyst who can score runs and steal bases. His biggest issue has been consistency, learning to focus on every pitch and at-bat

Mixed reviews, but it's interesting that BA and MLB both seem to believe in the bat if he can focus and be patient. Perhaps playing in the majors has provided him a challenge and he understands that now is the time when he needs to have a mature approach and be involoved in every play, and every at bat, and every pitch.


Right. You can't automatically assume a developing prospect's minor league stats are going to define him throughout an entire career. Those that get it and work hard improve those that do not quickly fade away. Only time will tell.

#45 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 11:46 AM

Right. You can't automatically assume a developing prospect's minor league stats are going to define him throughout an entire career.


You can't automatically assume MiLB numbers will carry over but they do for the vast majority of players. It's more likely that younger players will outperform their MiLB numbers (a la Miggy) because they're still growing and are playing at a level far more advanced than their age but MiLB numbers are a good baseline for most players.

Santana might out-perform his MiLB numbers but it's impossible to look at his play and say he's not in over his head right now. His BABIP is .476.

#46 Willihammer

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 11:52 AM

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.


I haven't seen all the games but I can recall more than a couple of Eddie's "doubles" that were just doinkers over the third baseman or first baseman's head. His minor league track record is .675 over almost 3000 PAs. He has almost a 4:1 K/BB ratio in the bigs. He's getting by on smoke and mirrors.

Similar deal with Santana. These two are young enough to make small improvements but I wouldn't expect either of them to suddenly hit with authority, draw a lot of walks, cut down on K's, etc.

I'm happy to enjoy the ride while it lasts though.

#47 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 11:59 AM

I haven't seen all the games but I can recall more than a couple of Eddie's "doubles" that were just doinkers over the third baseman or first baseman's head. His minor league track record is .675 over almost 3000 PAs. He has almost a 4:1 K/BB ratio in the bigs. He's getting by on smoke and mirrors.


I think there's a little more to it than that. Escobar is hitting far more line drives this season (27.5% this year, 21% last year) and fewer GB/FB. His BB/K rate is similar to years past.

On the flip side of that coin, his BABIP is an absurd .390 right now.

Escobar is certainly due to regress. Whether that's below an acceptable level for a starting shortstop is very much up for debate, in my opinion (and I've never been an Escobar fan).

#48 spycake

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 01:21 PM

I haven't seen all the games but I can recall more than a couple of Eddie's "doubles" that were just doinkers over the third baseman or first baseman's head. His minor league track record is .675 over almost 3000 PAs. He has almost a 4:1 K/BB ratio in the bigs. He's getting by on smoke and mirrors.

Similar deal with Santana. These two are young enough to make small improvements but I wouldn't expect either of them to suddenly hit with authority, draw a lot of walks, cut down on K's, etc.

I'm happy to enjoy the ride while it lasts though.


Yeah, the list of guys lasting significant MLB PA (i.e. starting roles) with those K and BB rates and modest isolated power isn't very long. Drop the ISO just .020-.030 to their career norms and such players are almost non-existent.

The good news is that they are legitimately performing well right now, so they have some room to see a correction in their BABIP and ISO and still be tolerable, average-ish offensive players. This is very much preferable to the Florimon refrain of "if he can just continue being barely acceptable..." Some of their gains in BABIP and ISO will have to stick, though, for them to be viable MLB starters long-term.

#49 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 02:18 PM

Santana has certainly been a catalyst, and Escobar has been great at short. Escobar is our big league shortstop for the foreseeable future. For as much as I'm on Hicks side, I also prefer Santana to stay here as the backup CF, PR, and utility after Fuld takes back center field.

Umm, Fuld is taking back center field, right?? :)

#50 jokin

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 02:49 PM

Santana has certainly been a catalyst, and Escobar has been great at short. Escobar is our big league shortstop for the foreseeable future. For as much as I'm on Hicks side, I also prefer Santana to stay here as the backup CF, PR, and utility after Fuld takes back center field.

Umm, Fuld is taking back center field, right?? :)


Not tonight, anyway.

#51 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 03:37 PM

Not tonight, anyway.


I know right, keep playing him while he's hot. He won't be DH-ing anymore.

Santana seems to be picking up the position but he's still really green. He doesn't have any quarterbacking skills out there, as Seth pointed out. In the San Fran series we saw Parmelee range almost into dead center (not really but sorta) to make a catch for him. Even experienced players like Adrian Beltre are capable of a serious mistake at any given moment, so if and when that comes, it's hopefully not as costly.

#52 twinsfan34

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 04:04 PM

Eddie's been playing about 50 50 last I checked at 2B and CF. I think trying to develop him at both positions is the smart play as long as it doesn't hurt him in the long run by not getting enough reps at either position. If he can be an adequate (see league average or close) defender at both positions and hit like he has it expands trade options or the teams options such as switching Dozier back to SS or putting him in CF until Buxton shows up. While his bat may not be amazing in a corner I think he could be average but be a plus defender. If I remember right he doesn't have the greatest arm but I might be wrong about that. Either way an outfield of Rosario, Buxton, Arcia could be very solid defensively and offensively.


Maybe the Twins are preparing for platooning in 2015?

Have half the roster capable of playing half the positions. Boom.

I can see the t-shirts now...

#53 Thrylos

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 05:49 PM

I haven't seen all the games but I can recall more than a couple of Eddie's "doubles" that were just doinkers over the third baseman or first baseman's head. His minor league track record is .675 over almost 3000 PAs. He has almost a 4:1 K/BB ratio in the bigs. He's getting by on smoke and mirrors. .


He smoked another one today. Not sure about mirrors, but it is Friday the 13th with a full moon, no need to break any of those.

Cannot look at his numbers as a 17 year old in the Venezuelan league and add them up to last season's in AAA. Something happens when baseball players develop: There comes a time that they "get it". Dozier did it last season, this season is Escobar's turn, I think.

Edited by Thrylos, 13 June 2014 - 06:18 PM.

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#54 Trevor0333

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 08:24 PM

Im starting to feel like Escobar & Santana could be at least solid starters at SS/CF. Why not let Santana stay at CF all year and see what happens. Maybe not worrying about SS free's up his bat & allows him to put on a few lbs of muscle to add to the pop he's already shown.

#55 kab21

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 11:47 PM

Nobody should expect a .700+ OPS out of either Santana or Escobar. You can't look at <400 PA's for Escobar and believe that he is just getting it. Both of them appear to be fine SS's until someone better comes along but neither is anything more than a #8/9 hitter on a good team.

#56 Seth Stohs

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 06:59 AM

So, what do you all think? With Byron Buxton, is Santana the CF of the future? With Rosario, Hicks, Arcia around can he be a left or right fielder? Can he play enough defense to be the SS of the future?

#57 Thrylos

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 07:23 AM

So, what do you all think? With Byron Buxton, is Santana the CF of the future? With Rosario, Hicks, Arcia around can he be a left or right fielder? Can he play enough defense to be the SS of the future?


Santana is not the Centerfielder of the future. Buxton or not. His bat does not play at corner outfield, so that is out. As far as the SS of the future, I even doubt that. I have seen enough Santana play the last 3 seasons to still think that his ceiling is utility and he is just riding a high wave like Colabello did in April and Parmelee did a couple of Septembers ago...
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#58 jokin

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 02:38 PM

I think every Twins fan is enjoying riding the wave with Santana. Unfortunately, like in the ocean, all waves eventually hit the sandy bottom. Santana whiffs on sliders at a 42% rate, and yet he has only received 41 sliders (11.5% of all pitches received), versus 209 FBs and 56 change-ups. Look for a whole lot more whiffing at breakers in Santana's near-future.

It will be interesting how both he and the Twins handle things when the league makes its adjustments.


Looks like Detroit has a good advance scout....Santana's results from last night's game:

[TABLE="width: 100%"]
[TR]
[TH="class: left, width: 1%"]Type[/TH]
[TH="class: right, width: 1%, align: right"]Count[/TH]
[TH="class: right, width: 1%, align: right"]Selection[/TH]
[TH="class: right, align: right"]Strike[/TH]
[TH="class: right, align: right"]Swing[/TH]
[TH="class: right, align: right"]Whiff[/TH]
[TH="class: right, align: right"]Foul[/TH]
[TH="class: right, align: right"]In Play[/TH]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="class: datalabel"]FF[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]7[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]31.8%[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]57.1%[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]42.9%[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]0.0%[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]28.6%[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]14.3%[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="class: datalabel"]SL[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]6[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]27.3%[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]100.0%[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]100.0%[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]50.0%[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]33.3%[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]16.7%[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="class: datalabel"]FC[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]4[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]18.2%[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]50.0%[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]25.0%[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]0.0%[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]25.0%[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]0.0%[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="class: datalabel"]FT[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]4[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]18.2%[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]75.0%[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]50.0%[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]0.0%[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]50.0%[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]0.0%[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="class: datalabel"]CH[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]1[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]4.5%[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]0.0%[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]0.0%[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]0.0%[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]0.0%[/TD]
[TD="class: data, align: right"]0.0%[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]