Last season Debby Santana jumped onto the scene in the Dominican Summer League. The then 16-year-old infielder hit an impressive .302/.356/.448 with 17 doubles, a triple, and he had two homers. To put those numbers into perspective, the DSL average line was .241/.336/.326. Santana had an OPS 141 points higher than the league average despite being one of the youngest players in the league.

With that performance the Cincinnati Reds brought the now 17-year-old stateside. Debby Santana has spent the entire year in Goodyear playing for the Arizona League Reds. Things got out to a slow start for the teenager this season. He hit .204/.237/.327 in the first 30 games of the season with five walks and 33 strikeouts. That span lasted 118 plate appearances.

Debby Santana has gotten out to a strong start in August. He’s gone to the plate 26 times and has struck out just once. He’s also walked three times in that span while hitting .391/.462/.826. Last night helped push that line up as he went 3-4 with a double. On the season he’s hitting .239/.277/.418 in the Arizona Rookie League.

The average and on-base percentage aren’t great, but Debby Santana’s isolated power of 179 is very strong. It’s the third best among players under the age of 18 in the league (only one player is listed as a 16-year-old – the Cubs Reivaj Garcia). Santana’s five home runs are best among that group. Only four of the 28 players under 18 in the league have more than one home run. Power has been his calling card since he began play in 2017. If he’s starting to make adjustments with the strikezone like he’s shown in early August things could begin to get very interesting on the offensive side of the ball for him.

Alejo Lopez keeps hitting for Dayton

All that Alejo Lopez has done since he was drafted in 2015 is hit. The now 22-year-old hit .419 in the Arizona League in 2015 (just 12 games). In 2016 and 2017 he spent his seasons in Billings where he hit .287. At both stops in rookie ball he had more walks than he had strikeouts. His 2018 season didn’t begin until June 15th when he joined the Dayton Dragons. In the 10 games that month he hit .278. Since then he’s been on fire for the Dragons. In 35 games he’s gone 43 for 125, good for an average of .344. His on-base percentage in that span is .388 and he’s slugging .424 thanks to eight doubles and a triple. Lopez, a switch hitter, is now hitting .329 on the season for the Dragons. As a right handed hitter he’s hitting .306. As a lefty he’s batting .380.


9 Responses

  1. Joe

    It’s amazing seeing 16-17yr olds making these adjustments against competition that 2-5yrs older when others their age are doin it against high school sophomores n juniors.

  2. abado

    Doug, any word on what happened with Calten Daal? I was excited earlier this year when he was back with the organization after missing all of 2017, but he only played a handful of games. He’s not a top prospect, but I always like to see guys bounce back from injury.

  3. SteveLV

    Couple of teams may be looking for help with recent (and for players involved, certainly concerning) news of illnesses of Martin in Cleveland and Jansen in LA. Be interesting to know if Hamilton and/or Iglesias have been, or will be, run through waiver process.

    On a different note, Doug, yesterday someone suggested you write an article on the top prospects 20 and under, or something along those lines. For what it’s worth, I think that would really interesting, too.

    • The Duke

      Odds are everybody on the roster was put on waivers. 0 risk as you can draw them all back if you want.

  4. Norwood Nate

    Reports about Big Bob being a big fan of Riggleman, making it more likely he comes back next season as Reds manager.

    Who wants to bet that this expansive search outside the organization never happens? Or it’s a token search like interviewing Larkin, Bell, Farrell, and Riggs?

    It’s getting to the point that whatever is the worst idea out there is the one I expect the Reds FO to follow.

    • Michael Smith

      At that point Norwood its not the Front Office. Its the owner. This is like the bad Steinbrener years with the Yankees.

      • Norwood Nate

        I don’t even know if we can determine the difference, the lines have been blurred so much. Walt’s involved in everything that’s going on even on day to day operations, Big Bob’s making calls on what guys can/should be traded. Sounds like they’re the ones making the calls, which to me means they’re part of the FO or at least who the FO listens to and runs everything by.

  5. Michael Smith

    I get what you are saying Norwood. I think they may have capable guys in Kroll and Williams but we will never know because Castalinni and his adviser Walt are running the show.

    Hard to judge everything else when you know it doesn’t matter what decisions the front office makes since it will be overruled by the owner.

    Oddly enough scouting is the one area they seem to not be involved with and it is doing great in the grand scheme of things for over a decade.