Cristian Santana made quite an impression on anyone who was lucky enough to see him play in 2017. The Los Angeles Dodgers #26 ranked prospect, on the top 30 prospects list, is a line drive waiting to happen, every time he steps in the batter’s box. It did not matter the league, the competition, or the atmosphere, Santana was a hitting machine last season.
For those not familiar with the power-hitting third baseman, consider this description from his Manager at Ogden, Mark Kertenian: “extremely gifted and talented, very well rounded with his skill set.” Well rounded, at such a young age is quite the tribute to Cristian Santana from his skipper.
Los Angeles Dodgers Top 30 Prospects – Cristian Santana
Age 20 Born February 24, 1997
San Cristobal, Dominican Republic
Bats: Right Throws: Right
6′ 2″ 175lbs
— Steven Douglas (@wxdude22) January 14, 2018
The 20-year-old slugger hit over 500 (.537) in Rookie ball at Ogden in 41 at-bats. Santana did not need many plate appearances in the hitter-friendly confines of the Pioneer League. In those games, especially at the dish, the Dominican slugger looked like a man among boys. Pitchers had no chance at trying to get ahead in the count with the fastball against Santana. Raptors Manager Mark Kertenian gave this report about Cristian Santana, “He rose from extended spring training, through three levels, and he earned every bit of it.”
The Midwest League is a pitcher-friendly league, to say the least. That did not bother Cristian Santana who steadily kept his batting average above 300 (.322). Great Lakes Manager, Jeremy Rodriguez had this to say about him: “He is a guy that has power to all fields, and as a third baseman, he has a rocket of an arm.”
The Dodgers organization had many of its affiliates make the playoffs in 2017. Many players were promoted, not all because of roster needs. Some of the promoted players were thrown into a playoff race for the growth and experience. Cristian Santana was most likely in the latter category. The natural third baseman was asked to play first base for the Quakes, a position that is understandably not as comfortable for Santana. The right-handed hitting Santana proceeded to hit over 400 (.412) for the Quakes in the Cal League playoffs.
Cristian Santana – 2018 & Beyond
What does the future hold for the multi-talented Santana? If this statement from his Manager at Great Lakes is any indication, the Dodgers have yet another future MLB talent on the horizon. Rodriguez added, “he is going to be something really special in the next few years, if not sooner.”
Santana will more than likely start 2018 at Rancho Cucamonga in High-A ball. As long as he keeps hitting, it will be very hard to not promote him early and often. The young slugging infielder still has a learning curve with regards to other infield positions, but at third base, and in the batter’s box, he is already excelling. Look for that trend to continue from the man who loves first-pitch fastballs and hitting to all fields.
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