This baseball season is going to be a bunch of fast rappers who somehow con people into thinking they’re impressive because they rap in double-time. Who will be an Overnight Celebrity? Could Anthony Santander be Twista? Spit some bars, Santander! *Santander scream-raps a bunch of gibberish, but because it’s fast it doesn’t sound awful* Yo, Anthony Santander in 162 games your bars were weak, but in a three-month season with 598 syllables in 55 seconds…Well, you kinda nasty, and nasty is good. After my Starlin Castro fantasy yesterday, can you see a theme? Wearing sweatpants every day isn’t a theme, that’s a lifestyle. Okay, there’s not one theme exactly, but Starlin Castro and Anthony Santander do share one similarity — they both are currently penciled in as a three-hole hitter. Something I’ve said before but not sure it’s got through your seven layers of brain crust to the inner core: If you only draft three-hole hitters, you can only go so wrong. They will get the most runs and RBIs on average, and, well, batting average will likely be okay, because there’s a reason they’re batting third. That reason? They’re likely not automatic outs. So, what can we expect from Anthony Santander for 2020 fantasy baseball and what makes him a great dart throw?
Before you wonder what Anthony Santander can do in 80 to 100 games, let’s say the season is 93 games and he’s Cal Ripken Jr. Know why? Because he played in 93 games last year, you need shizz spoonfed? As my baseball-themed fortune cookie would tell you, “Be more Cal and less Billy Ripken’s bat knob.” Last year, Santander went 20/1/.261 in 380 ABs. Steamer hitter projections have him down for 14/3/.262 in 320 ABs in 85 games. So, I guess this comes down to whether we think he can get an additional six or more homers. What’s that, you asking if 20 homers in 100 games is good? For a guy who is being drafted either not at all in a 12-teamer or in the last round? Yeah, that’s good. In 100-game season, a 20-homer season with his projected .260 average is about a number two outfielder. I know what you might be thinking, because I was thinking it too — Santander is really a .260 hitter? I thought he was a big negative on average. Last year, his strikeout rate was 21.2%, which is better than league average (23%). His expected batting average on fastballs was .269 and his xBA on offspeed pitches was .271. He’s top 61st percentile for exit velocity and better than half the league for expected batting average. In all, he’s not a bad average hitter. Will he hit .300? Well, in a 82+ game season, anything’s possible, but, if everything’s neutral, he’s a .260-.270 hitter. That’s still with solid power from a three-hole hitter, by the by. Ironically, don’t let him whizz past you, Santander is a great dart throw.