Barely cracking the Astros top ten prospects list, Domingo Santana possesses a set of tools that would probably rank him much higher in most organizations. Santana spent his age 20 season at AA Corpus Christi where he hit .252/.345/.498. Domingo also appeared in 17 winter league games in his native Dominican Republic before being shut down for the season.
A right-handed hitting outfielder, Santana’s arm strength projects him as a rightfielder in the big leagues. At 6’5″ and 230 pounds, Santana has a body type that screams power hitter. And the youngster has already put that power on display, blasting a total of 48 homeruns over the past two seasons — all of them coming against older, more experienced pitchers.
Santana also has enough speed to steal some bases and cover a good amount of ground in the outfield. The kid can do a little bit of everything. Right now, the only knock on Santana is that he strikes out too much.
Originally signed by the Phillies as a 16-year old out of the Dominican Republic, Santana was little more than a throw-in in the Hunter Pence trade. A deal that was originally met with criticism by Astros fans now appears to have been Ed Wade’s finest hour. Santana has blossomed into a top prospect and should become the fourth player in that trade to make it to the big leagues with the Astros.
How long before we see Domingo in Houston? Well, the plan is probably to keep him in the minors for at least one more year. I would expect Santana to spend the bulk of the 2014 season at Oklahoma City. If he continues to produce the type of numbers we’ve seen over the last two seasons, Santana could be in the Astros lineup as soon as 2015.
Domingo Santana (photo by Tammy Tucker)