Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Ervin Santana Report

Ervin Santana, P, Anaheim Angels
Signed as an Undrafted Free Agent, 2000, Dominican Republic
Bats R/Throws R
22 YO, 6'2", 160 lbs

Santana got knocked around a little bit in his Major League debut last night. That's not completely unexpected. Quite a few players struggle in their first game. I didn't see the game itself, but on the SportsCenter highlights, every pitch they showed was a 94 MPH fastball. He also has a wicked slider and a changeup he's been working on for a couple years now.

A couple years ago, I was a huge Santana backer. After his 2002 performance in Rancho Cucamonga, where he struck out 130 with 36 walks in 125 innings, I was pretty excited. His 2003 season dampened my enthusiasm as he dealt with elbow problems through all that season and on into 2004.

2004 Arkansas: 3.30 ERA, 48 K, 18 BB, 41 H, 3 HR, 44 IP
pre-2005 mL Career: 3.60 ERA, 438 K, 161 BB, 354 H, 27 HR, 422 IP

The bottom line is health. If he can avoid the scalpel, he's a damned good pitching prospect, and could be used as either bait in a deadline deal to get the Halos more offensive help, or he could be a future replacement for Paul Byrd or some other Angels starter. I wouldn't rule out a move to the pen at some point either. He won't stick around this season, but barring injury, he has a future. Monitor what the Angels do with their rotation in the offseason. He could be a reasonable rookie of the year candidate for 2006. He could also be nursing a nice scar on his arm.

ETA: Late 2005/Early 2006
4 Stars

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