Dodgers May Regret Losing Santana

When the Dodgers picked up third baseman Casey Blake from Cleveland they send the Indians a fine pitching prospect Jon Malone. Then they asked if they would pick up the rest of Blake's contract, some two million dollars, and added catcher Carlos Santana in lieu of the money. This may be a deal that comes back to haunt the Dodgers in the future.

Santana, a converted third baseman/outfielder, hit a not so solid .223/.318/.370 ub 2007 and wasn't considered one of the Dodgers top 50 prospects. Baseball Prospectus wasn't impressed with his progress nor was Baseball America.

But an incredible renaissance in 2008 saw him tear up the California League in 2008, hitting .323 with 34 doubles, 14 home runs and 96 runs batted in over 99 games with Inland Empire.

After the trade he hit .352 for Kinston in the Cleveland system, adding six more homers and 19 RBI.

Following the season he was selected as Most Valuable Player in the California League despite playing only 99 games and he now projects as a middle-of-the-order, switch-hitting run producer who, by the way, is a legitimate big league catcher.

Santana has a very compact swing and makes consistent, hard contact, and he also has enough strength in his upper body to generate power despite the short swing.

Behind the plate, he's a good receiver and has an above-average arm. Given his tremendous control of the strike zone and above-average power, he has very little to do to turn into an average big league catcher, but there's a high probability that he develops into much more.

ESPN's Keith Law listed the top 100 prospects in the minor leagues and Santana rated #13. No Dodgers were chosen in the top 25.

Carlos Santana

year	team      ave   obp   ops  gm   ab   r   h  2b 3b hr  bi sb
2005	GCLeag   .295  .412  .822  32   78  14  23   4  1  1  14  0
2006	Ogden	 .303  .423  .515  37  132  31  40   5  1  7  27  4
	VBeach   .268  .345  .729  54  198  16  53  10  2  3  18  0
2007	GLakes   .223  .318  .688  86  292  32  65  20  1  7  36  5
2008	IEmpire  .323  .431  .994  99  350  88 113  34  4 14  96  7
	Kinstn   .352  .452 1.042  29  105  34  37   5  1  6  19  3
	Arkans   .125  .125  .625   2    8   3   1   1  0  0   1  0
 Totals	         .285  .388  .858 339 1163 218 332  78 10 39 212 19

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