Dodger Prospect #31 - C Carlos Santana

The Dodgers were so taken by the conversion of third baseman Russell Martin, now a integral part of the Dodgers and winner of a Gold Glove, that they switched another pair of infielders to behind the plate, hoping for a like result. Thus Carlos Santana became a catcher and has taken to the position well.

Santana has a rocket arm, one of the reasons he was converted, and has a short, compact stroke that has shown good power as well as amazing consistency. But in the move, he seemed to lose his batting eye, perhaps from the work of moving to a more challenging position.

Carlos Santana was drafted as a catcher and performed so well at third base over the winter he was sent directly to the Gulf Coast League in 2005, where he hit .295 with good plate presence, finishing with a 2-1 ratio of walks to strikeouts that resulted in a .412 on base percentage.

Manager Luis Salazar had found himself blessed with three third basemen, all showing offensive prowess. So, while Josh Bell played third, Eduardo Perez played a lot of first while Santana played just about everywhere- some first, some outfield, some second.

Since he has good hand-eye actions and a strong arm, they decided to see if he could be a catcher but a broken finger ended both the experiment and Carlos' season.

The 5-11, 170-pound switch hitter was having an explosive extended camp in 2006, hitting in the .600 range, when an injury cleared the way for him to move to fill in at Vero Beach and he replaced the injured Cory Dunlap at first base. When Dunlap returned, he dropped down to play third base at Ogden and hit .303 with a .423 on base average.

In his two seasons, Santana had 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.

As a full-time catcher at Great Lakes inn 2007, he hit .223 n 86 games and 292 time at bat and started showing some power, lining 20 doubles and seven homers, good enough to knock in a career-high 36 runs.

He will turn 22 in April and has moved regularly up the franchise. He will probably open the 2008 season at High-A Inland Empire in 2008.

His record:
Carlos Santana    bb  tr  5-11  188
Born- April 8, 1986 in Santo Domingo, D.R.
Obtained- Signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2004

year	team   	 ave    obp   gm   ab   r   h  2b 3b hr  bi  sb
2005	GCL	.295   .412   32   78  14  23   4  1  1  14  0
2006	VBeach	.268   .345   54  198  16  53  10  2  3  18  0
	Ogden	.303   .423   37  132  31  40   5  1  7  27  4
2007	GLakes	.233   .318   86  292  32  65  20  1  7  36  5

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