DOMINGO SANTANA (OF)
Age: 23… Height: 6’5″… Weight: 225
Bats: Right… Throws: Right
Profile: With an open roster space on the big league club, the Brewers announced on Friday the promotion of outfielder Domingo Santana from Triple-A Colorado Springs. Acquired from the Astros at the trade deadline, along with pitchers Josh Hader and Adrian Houser and outfielder Brett Phillips, in a deal that sent Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers to Houston, Santana will join the Brewers in Washington on Friday.
Originally signed by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2009 out of the Dominican Republic for a reported $330,000, the recently-turned 23-year-old Santana made his pro debut with the Phillies Gulf Coast League affiliate that same season and belted 6 home runs in just 37 games. He split 2010 between two of Philadelphia’s Single-A affiliates and began 2011 with Lakewood in the South Atlantic League. Santana hit .269 with 7 home runs in 96 games with Lakewood before being dealt to the Astros as part of a trade that sent outfielder Hunter Pence to the Phillies.
Moving to the hitter-friendly California League in 2012, Santana put up big offensive numbers, hitting .302 with 26 doubles and 23 runs batted in. He proved those numbers were no fluke the following season, making the jump to Double-A Corpus Christi and hitting .252 with 23 doubles and 25 home runs.
Santana opened 2014 at Triple-A Oklahoma City and experienced similar success, hitting .296 with 27 doubles and 16 home runs and earned a brief call to the big leagues. The slugger struggled in his Major League debut however, going 0-for-17 with 14 strikeouts. He opened at Triple-A again in 2015 and hit .320 with 16 home runs in 75 games for the Astros new affiliate in Fresno. That earned him another promotion to Houston in June, where he fared better, hitting .256 with a pair of home runs before being traded to Milwaukee in late July. The Brewers sent him to Triple-A Colorado Springs, where he was batting .380 through his first 20 games with the Sky Sox, earning him a spot on the Brewers 25-man roster.
Strengths: Santana’s biggest strength is his raw power at the plate. In seven minor league seasons he racked up 284 extra-base hits, including 108 home runs. He’s hit for power pretty much every step of the way while maintaining a career .282 batting average in the minors and can use all parts of the field. Santana has average or better speed to go along with a strong arm and is ideally suited to play right field.
Weaknesses: The major flaw in Santana’s game is the strikeout. His 14 K’s in 17 big league at bats in 2014 is a very small sample size, but they have been an issue throughout his career as he’s punched out over 100 times in each of the last six seasons.
Future: With Khris Davis and Ryan Braun in the corners, it will be interesting to see how the Brewers handle Santana for the remainder of 2015. They experimented with him in center field last night in Colorado Springs, and though that’s not his long-term home, it might be a way to get his bat in the lineup for the time being. If he shows he can handle big league pitching, Santana could eventually move Braun to first base and roam right field at Miller Park for years to come. At worst, the Brewers have a 3TO player who will hit for power while also striking out, but if he can limit the strikeouts while maintaining the power numbers, the Brewers could have an absolute steal in Santana.