Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Domingo Santana broke into the big leagues in 2014 with the Houston Astros. Since that time, he has been an average MLB player at best. This season he seems to have found his groove in the heart of the Brewers lineup.
Although it is a small sample size, from ’14-’16 Santana hit .239 with 19 home runs. He alsohas 58 runs batted in, with a 3.17 strikeout/walk ratio in 486 total plate appearances with the Milwaukee Brewers and Houston Astros organizations. A far cry from the output you would expect from such a highly regarded player.
Through the minor leagues Santana always flashed a big bat. From ’12-’14 in the Houston Astros system, Santana hit .282 with 66 home runs. In addition to driving in 254 runs in 1709 plate appearances. Santana also showed better plate discipline having a 2.62 strikeout/walk ratio.
He only played in 77 games last season for the Brew Crew. Due to two stints on the disabled list for right arm issues, the 2016 season was a wash for Santana. What looked like a promising future in 2015 suddenly looked shaky a mere twelve months later.
With the approach of the 2017 season, I personally couldn’t help but ponder what the Milwaukee Brewers might get in return in a trade for Santana. With prospects such as Brett Phillips and Lewis Brinson knocking on the door of the major leagues, Santana became an afterthought.
After slashing a .197/.310/465 through the first month of the season, Santana has been one of the Crew’s most consistent players with the bat. Since the start of May, Santana has slashed a .323/410/515. Helping the Brewers stay atop the National League Central.
Ryan Braun struggling to stay in the lineup consistently. And Keon Broxton is struggling to get on base. Santana looks like the surest thing in the outfield right now. Without question he has the arm strength to play the position. Personally I wish he had a little more range though.
As much as I enjoy watching Broxton in the field and on the basepaths, he just doesn’t find his way on base enough to figure into the future plans. On top of that, with manager Craig Counsell’s statement Friday regarding Ryan Braun, who really knows how much the slugger has left in the tank?
Santana is starting to look like the player the Brewers thought they were acquiring as part of the package for Mike Fiers and Carlos Gómez in 2015. The future of the outfield looks very bright. There is Brett Phillips, who recently hit his first career major league home run, and Lewis Brinson coming through the pipelines. This could turn into one of the best outfields in all of baseball in the coming years.
Brinson has the speed to cover gap to gap in center. While Brett Phillips has plenty of arm strength and range to play either corner outfield position. In the coming years the alignment in the outfield could change quite a bit.
As for Domingo Santana, at worst I hope the only change for him is a shift to left field. We haven’t even talked about another top prospect in Corey Ray. If he get his bat figured out he could be the best of the bunch. But that’s a discussion for another day.
Get your sunglasses ready Brewers fans, because the future is bright.