Dodger Prospect #23 Carlos Santana

LAdugout.com is currently taking a look at the top prospects in the Dodger system. Here's another as we count down to the very best.

Name- CARLOS SANTANA
Position -3B/OF/ Catcher
Residence- Santo Domingo, DR
DOB- April 4, 1986
Ht- 5-11
Wt- 170
B/T- S/R
How Obtained- Signed as a free agent 2004
06 Clubs- Vero Beach (Florida State), Ogden (Pioneer)

In the two seasons he's been a pro, Santana has been a bat in search of a position. Now, it may well be that he's found a home behind the plate. In so, that's ironic for he was a catcher as an amateur but was switched to third after signing.

With Russell Martin making the big club, the Dodgers have a surplus of catchers who are promising defensively but can't hit or the reverse. So, in the spirit of Martin , they've been seeking position players who can handle the defensive end as well as hit some.

Actually, they tried to do that with Santana in 2005 but a split finger ended that. So, he spent 2006 alternating between third and the outfield but they revived the experiment in the Instructional League and he did more than acceptably. He certainly has the arm for it.

They love his bat for he has a hard, vicious swing that generates power and he hits consistently from both sides. His swing needs tightening and there's the usual problem found among the young with pitch recognition.

He was placed at Vero Beach as temporary fill-in and handled himself so well that he stuck around a lot longer . He then went back to rookie ball and hit even better.

The progress he shows defensively in spring training will determine where he opens 2007. Ideally that would be with the Great Lakes team.

LA Dodgers Insider Top Stories