Posted 15 September 2014 - 07:44 PM
Great post Stringer! And I think I literally "liked" every post here.
The biggest problem here is very simple. We just don't know what we have for sure in Santana. Not yet.
When the Twins surprisingly promoted him, I felt it was a brief look-see, (despite talent, potential and positive things spoken by the coaching staff), and he'd be back down at Rochester in two weeks. But, as we all know, a funny thing happened on the way to the Forum; the kid showed he could play! The kid hit, hit some more, and kept hitting, even though he was thrust in to a position he had barely played, and had the pressure of hitting at the top of the order, not buried in the 9 hole. We kept waiting for the bubble to burst, but it never did.
Then he hit the DL, and I felt the glass slipper would surely fall off, and probably shatter when it did. (If you prefer stagecoach back to pumpkin, go for it). Except, after a couple games to get back in the groove, all he did was continue to hit and produce! At this point, even being a rookie, aren't we beyond the SSS point?
I object to references to milb OPS numbers as a comparison. Why? They can be a guideline sure, but milb numbers are just that, milb numbers for a talented young athlete STILL DEVELOPING. What separates a talented, athletic prospect from a quality ML producer? I don't know. I don't know if anyone can quantify it. But at some point, there is a sort of lightbulb that either switches on, or it doesn't. In Santana's case, it seems that 2014 was the time when his 100 watt switched on.
I understand possible regression. I understand balls batted in play. And I understand his lack of walks that we'd all like to see rise. And there may be some ultimate balance struck here. But the thing that impresses me most about Santana is NOT his BA. It's his approach. There is no fear in him, or his approach at the plate. I'd love to find a stat that shows how many pitches he sees per AB because he seems to do a tremendous job of battling at the plate.
I love Escobar, and I don't think he should be dismissed or taken lightly. I also really like Nunez as a nice role player. But when you look at offense and defensive potential, you HAVE to give Santana the first shot at SS don't you?
We may have to live with a player who is less consistent than Escobar, but has better range, athleticism, and probably a better arm with even better offense. Unless he just botches a bunch of plays at SS, with great love for Escobar, don't you have to roll with Santana as your primary SS and let him grow in to the position?
"Nice catch Hayes...don't ever f*****g do it again."