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Prospect Note: Danny Santana, SS, Minnesota Twins

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Danny Santana
Danny Santana
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Through his first 25 major league games, Minnesota Twins rookie Danny Santana is hitting a robust .372/.407/.500 with four steals in four attempts, five doubles and two homers. In technical baseball terms, that's like really good. Trained as a shortstop in the minors, he's seen considerable action in center field since Aaron Hicks has forgotten how to hit.

Who is Danny Santana? We'll I'm glad you asked. This is what I wrote about him in my 2014 Baseball Prospect Book:

The Twins signed Santana out of the Dominican Republic in 2007. Although he hasn’t received much attention outside of Minnesota circles, he has some skills and is a good bet to see major league action some time in 2014. A switch-hitter, he is a line drive guy with some occasional pop to the gaps. He runs quite well and is increasingly adept at using his speed on the bases. His biggest weakness is impatience: he seldom draws walks, hampering his value as a tablesetter. He does bunt well. Santana’s range and arm play well at shortstop, though he needs to cut down on routine errors. He can also play second base if needed, and fits the profile of a utility infielder. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there is something about Santana that makes me think he could exceed expectations at some point. I’m gonna stick a "+" on his rating to reflect that. Grade C+.

I'd say that .372/.407/.500 is "exceeding expectations."

No, he's not going to maintain that over a full season, and the impatience problem I mentioned in the book comment is an issue. However, I think he's made legitimate progress refining his tools into skills.

His last two full season minor league slash lines were .286/.329/.410 in High-A and .296/.333/.386 in Double-A, and I do think that he's capable of doing something along those lines in the big picture, say hit .270/.320/.380 or so. That would be fine production from a shortstop and Santana can certainly play shortstop. He's 23, a good athlete, a switch-hitter, and versatile. The Twins say good things about his makeup and he's certainly making a positive first impression.

Bottom line for me: .372/.407/.500 is a small sample fluke, but Santana does have value. Don't expect him to hit .300+ all year. Do expect him to be on big league rosters for the next decade, possibly as a productive regular and at worst as a good utility man.