Top 100 College Prospects: #98, Lou Santangelo

A New Jersey product, Lou Santangelo started at catcher for the Seton Hall Pirates right from the get-go before transferring to Clemson this past season to begin his junior year. Santangelo has a developing offensive game but has gained national exposure for his composure behind the dish. He's a leader both on the field and in the club house. Santangelo is one of the best defensive catchers in all of college baseball, making him #98 among our Top 100 College Draft Prospects.

Lou Santangelo was a First Team All-Parochial at Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft, New Jersey, and was also named to the Star-Ledger Second Team All-State in his senior year of high school when he had 9 home runs and 45 RBI. He also set a school record with 33 walks, leading Christian Brothers to a 29-3 record. Santangelo's offensive game has not translated to the same success at the collegiate level where he racked up a career .251 average with three home runs while playing for Seton Hall.

While Santangelo has been less than perfect at the plate, nobody can argue his defensive prowess behind it. Santangelo went to Seton Hall and became their starting catcher immediately, starting in 44 of the Pirates' 46 games. He threw out 15 would-be base stealers his freshman season and instantly began making a name for himself defensively. His defensive ability and leadership skills drew the attention of perennial collegiate baseball power Clemson;. Santangelo transferred to Clemson and began his Tigers' career this season.

Year

Team

AVG

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

R

BB

SO

SB

2002

Seton Hall

.214

131

28

7

1

1

8

12

12

37

2

2003

Seton Hall

.281

160

45

8

1

2

23

19

11

36

5



Batting and Power. Lou has some pop in his bat, but his power is more of the gap variety. He does not project to hit too many home runs at the Major League level unless he can find his power stroke that he displayed in high school. Has a decent batting eye but needs to work on his plate patience.

Base Running and Speed. Santangelo has decent speed for a catcher and is a very smart base runner. He can swipe a base if the pitcher is not paying attention.

Defense. Santangelo is all about defense. He has a very good arm with a quick release on his throws to second base. He can really shut down an opponent's running game with a strong arm and accurate throw. He's the epitome of a field general. Great leadership skills.

Projection. Santangelo projects to be a starting catcher just on his defensive abilities alone. Think Mike Matheny of the St. Louis Cardinals for a good MLB comparison.

Catchers

School

Mike Nickeas

Georgia Tech

Jason Jaramillo

Oklahoma State

Landon Powell

South Carolina

Donny Lucy

Stanford

Devin Ivany

South Florida

Brad Davis

Long Beach State

Erick San Pedro

U. of Miami

Rob Johnson

Houston

Josh Ford

Baylor

Lou Santangelo

Clemson

Wyatt Toregas

Virginia Tech



Comments


There are quite a few gems at the catching position in the college ranks. Erick San Pedro and Mike Nickeas appear to be the better defensive signal callers while Jason Jaramillo, Donny Lucy, and Josh Ford appear to have the most power upside of the catchers in this year's draft.

1. Mike Nickeas - As solid a catcher as there is in the college ranks. Can do it all: hit, throw, defend, block, call games, etc. A clutch hitter, he hit .373 with RISP last season. Batted .303 in 20 games for Team USA this past summer in the Pan American Games. Sweet stroke.

2. Jason Jaramillo - A very good defensive player (he threw out 18 baserunners attempting to steal in 2003), Jaramillo is known for his bat. Hit .385 with 9 HRs last season.

3. Landon Powell - A semi-finalist for the Johny Bench Award in 2003, Powell resembles Bench with the same tools. He had do it all. Powell had 23 doubles & 10 HRs in '03, not to mention he led the SEC in walks. The switch-hitter can play defense too, sporting a .994 fielding percentage last season. Was drafted by the Cubs in the 25th round in 2003.

4. Donny Lucy - An extremely talented and athletic catcher that is expected to possibly be a first round draft pick in the 2004 MLB First-Year Player Draft. Has great arm strength and is an excellent receiver defensively, as well as a potent bat offensively. He handles pitchers well.

5. Devin Ivany - A junior that can really rake, hitting .432 with RISP last season. Ivany enters his third season at USF with a career .341 batting average. Not only can hit, he's a very good defensive catcher. Threw out 41% of potential base stealers in 2003.

6. Brad Davis - Davis, like Wyatt Toregas, plays a few other positions besides catcher. David will play 1B and RF as well. Contact hitter who lacks true power.

7. Erick San Pedro - San Pedro is highly regarded as the country's premiere defensive catcher. Had 12 pickoffs and threw out 15 base stealers in 53 games. Works well with pitchers. Has solid bat, modest power.

8. Rob Johnson - After hitting 14 HRs for Saddleback Junior College, Johnson transferred to Houston to begin his career with the Cougars as a junior. Good defensively, solid all-around athlete.

9. Josh Ford - Just a junior at Baylor, Ford already entered the 2004 campaign ranked 23rd in school history with the most home runs. A do-it-all hitter. Can hit for average and plus power. Slugged 19 doubles and 12 HRs in just 283 at-bats last season.

10. Lou Santangelo - A transfer from Seton Hall, Santangelo is a very good defensive catcher just beginning his career at Clemson after two years with Pirates. He has an excellent arm and is very accurate throwing out runners. Not much power.

11. Wyatt Toregas - Only a junior, Toregas is the complete package. Has great arm, good defensively, can hit for power and average, etc. Can play right field too.

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