Few players have been more vexing to own in fantasy baseball this season than Carlos Santana. Great things were expected from the 29-year-old switch-hitting slugger in 2015, but he’s currently being out-slugged by the likes of Jose Iglesias and Dee Gordon while producing a lower batting average than Ryan Howard and fewer runs batted in than Jose Altuve. That’s about as successful as the recent Ryan Seacrest show was. But while there’s little chance of Seacrest becoming useful in the near future, Santana has been productive in recent years, and, as a player who has yet to reach his 30s, should theoretically possess the same skill set that has allowed him to enjoy that fantasy success. Let’s take a look at his career numbers on a yearly basis since his MLB debut in 2010:

Season G PA HR R RBI SB BB% K% ISO AVG OBP SLG wOBA
2010 46 192 6 23 22 3 19.30% 15.10% 0.207 0.26 0.401 0.467 0.38
2011 155 658 27 84 79 5 14.70% 20.20% 0.217 0.239 0.351 0.457 0.351
2012 143 609 18 72 76 3 14.90% 16.60% 0.168 0.252 0.365 0.42 0.344
2013 154 642 20 75 74 3 14.50% 17.10% 0.187 0.268 0.377 0.455 0.364
2014 152 660 27 68 85 5 17.10% 18.80% 0.196 0.231 0.365 0.427 0.353
2015 99 424 12 47 47 7 16.00% 18.60% 0.162 0.225 0.351 0.387 0.328

Santana had his owners singing “Oye Como Va” on draft day, but he just has them muttering “oy vey” these days. Santana has already set a new career high in steals with 7 this season and his walk and strikeout rates are in line with his career averages. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been hitting for the power or average that was expected of him coming into the season, as his current .225/.351/.387 triple slash line would represent career lows across the board.

Let’s examine his batted ball profile to see if any explanations can be found there:

Season BABIP LD% GB% FB% IFFB% HR/FB Soft% Med% Hard%
2010 0.277 21.10% 35.00% 43.90% 11.10% 11.10% 15.20% 41.60% 43.20%
2011 0.263 15.40% 44.70% 40.00% 17.20% 16.00% 25.10% 43.70% 31.20%
2012 0.278 19.10% 43.10% 37.80% 11.50% 11.50% 13.30% 56.30% 30.40%
2013 0.301 21.80% 42.50% 35.70% 9.70% 13.00% 15.40% 52.40% 32.20%
2014 0.249 19.50% 40.10% 40.40% 14.90% 16.10% 20.00% 45.00% 35.00%
2015 0.252 16.70% 44.90% 38.40% 18.90% 11.30% 22.30% 46.80% 30.90%

Santana’s line drive percentage (16.7%) is down for the second straight year, and his current ground ball (44.9%) and infield fly ball (18.9%) percentages would represent career highs for him. His soft and hard hit percentages are trending in the wrong direction as well. Very concerning.

It wouldn’t be a bear/bull without a player comp thrown in, would it? I have two comps for you today, actually. I’ll give them to you rapid-fire style. We’ll go the mystery player route as well, where each player’s stats will be matched up with Santana’s and the names won’t be revealed until later on. Ooh, the suspense! Here’s the first table which features Santana’s career stats as well as those of a mystery player who is no longer active:

Name PA HR R RBI SB BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+
Player A 3316 95 430 398 29 15.70% 17.20% 0.268 0.399 0.441 0.37 126
Carlos Santana 3189 110 369 383 26 15.70% 18.10% 0.245 0.365 0.434 0.351 125

The second table contains stats accumulated from the beginning of the 2014 season through today, and can be seen here:

Name PA HR R RBI SB BB% K% AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+
Player B 829 26 103 116 8 11.50% 18.10% 0.274 0.372 0.446 0.36 132
Carlos Santana 1088 39 115 132 12 16.70% 18.70% 0.228 0.359 0.41 0.342 121

While neither player comparison is perfectly accurate, there are plenty of similarities here. Though Santana has a slight edge in home run power in each table, his slugging percentage is actually lower than each of the mystery players. Santana also has a higher walk rate than player B in the second table, but the overall offensive production is quite similar in terms of overall offensive value. Time to reveal the mystery players. Player A in the career comp table is none other than the legendary Nick Johnson, while player B in the peer comp table is current Blue Jay catcher Russell Martin.

The most concerning thing about Santana’s 2015 season is his complete lack of power versus left-handed pitching. Let’s take a look at his splits:

Screen shot 2015-08-06 at 8.06.58 AM

Santana has yet to homer against left-handed pitching this year, and his .276 SLG (10th lowest in MLB) and .041 ISO (12th lowest) when facing lefties are among the worst in baseball. You could call it the Pablo Sandoval syndrome. Whatever the reason, Santana has hit for less power against southpaws than Ben Revere this season. For a player who derives the majority of his fantasy value from power production, this is obviously a huge concern.

It might be time to reevaluate the expectations for Santana moving forward. He’s become an average drain (.228 BA since the start of ’14) who doesn’t hit for power against LHP or steal enough bases to provide much value with his legs, which is to say that he’s not as much of a Chris Davis type of fantasy player these days as he is a Curtis Granderson type.

Final Verdict:

Brown Bear Walking in Snow

 

 

 

61 Comments
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Will
Will
6 years ago

Man a dude in my league who was convinced he needed a real catcher got desperate at the trade deadline and gave me Buxton for Santana. Hahahahaha and it’s a keeper league. Hahahahaha.

bigbear
bigbear
6 years ago

Say it ain’t so!!! I drafted him in a OBP league this year and have been keeping the faith… You make a compelling argument to my chagrin. Mike’s comment about the CLE commentator cements it for me.3

Is there a place where I can find historic league averages for things like ISO or line drive/fly ball %? Or a 5 year league average trend? I’d think there would be some value in knowing that too.

Grizza3569
Grizza3569
6 years ago

Sal Perez or Schwarber ROS in points league?

y4rivera
y4rivera
6 years ago

12 team keeper 260 cap $5 inflation

Hi, this is a follow-up to the negotiations from yesterday where I declined his Bryant $11 and Springer $13 for my Machado $21 and Puig $17. He sent 2 more offers. Which if any should I take? I’m still in contention.

Bryant and Springer for Machado and Sano $6

Bryant, Soler $11, and Severino $6 for Machado

If you don’t like them should I counter with Bryant and Springer for Puig and Sano?

y4rivera
y4rivera
Reply to  Big Magoo
6 years ago

We managed to get a deal done.

I traded Puig, Sano, Desmond, Boxberger, and Gregorson
I got Bryant, Springer, Familia, and Perkins

I also did a separate trade where I gave Frazier $29 for Blackmon $11. I’m really happy with the moves because I’m built nicely for this year and still have excellent keepers. I can slide Machado into Frazier’s slot and Blackmon into Puig’s. Blackmon also helps me with steals which was my weakest cat.

My offense (prices shown for cost to keep next year)
c- Perez $13 (wouldn’t keep)
1b- Rizzo $19
2b- Cano $41 (wouldn’t keep)
3b- Machado $21
ss- Tulo $41 (might be too expensive)
of- McCutchen $52 (too expensive)
of- Brantley $11
of- Blackmon $6
u- Bryant $11

dl- Miggy $48 (might be too expensive)
dl- Springer $13

y4rivera
y4rivera
Reply to  y4rivera
6 years ago

*Blackmon $11 for next year, not 6

y4rivera
y4rivera
Reply to  Big Magoo
6 years ago

Thanks for all your help.

Big Magoo
Big Magoo
Reply to  y4rivera
6 years ago

@y4rivera: No problem

chadaristic
chadaristic
6 years ago

Maikel Franco was dropped in my forever keeper league for some reason, so I dropped Santana for him 4-5 days ago. Feels smooch better.

chadaristic
chadaristic
Reply to  chadaristic
6 years ago

@chadaristic: hmm, I think I like smooch better than “so much”. Don’t you just love when a typo turns out better than what you intended?

Dnut eastwood
6 years ago

Can anyone tell me if the recently acquired Parra will be Platooning in Baltimore or get the majority of at bats.

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Dnut eastwood
6 years ago

@Dnut eastwood: we have all concluded that he should see the majority as long as he continues to hit lefties (for his career he hasn’t). Could sit vs tough lefties

Dnut eastwood
Reply to  Dnut eastwood
6 years ago

@Dnut eastwood: any O’s fans feel free to answer my question about Parra

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Big Magoo
6 years ago

@Big Magoo: they have shown an edge to platooney tunes regardless of how hot a player has been. Many times they have made no sense. Pearce returning could be the wildcard, which he shouldn’t be but you never know with them. It feels safe to me to assume he plays everyday unlessa tough lefty is on the hill. For roto it doesnt matter but for H2H guys it can be a problem come playoff time

Dnut eastwood
Reply to  Big Magoo
6 years ago

@Big Magoo: showalter is definitely a NL style guy who manages more then mist

Spammer Jay
Spammer Jay
6 years ago

thanks for writing this. Needed to see it!

Grey
Admin
6 years ago

Sky talked me into liking Santana this year, I should’ve traded all my Santanas to Sky

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: I got sucked into Sky’s Santana Siren Song too. Passed on Frazier for Santana in perts. FMFBL

Grey
Admin
Reply to  J-FOH
6 years ago

Sky needs to start handing out apologies!

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: Im expecting an Im sorry letter….Im still waiting on my Hosmer card from you, its been years now.

Grey
Admin
Reply to  J-FOH
6 years ago

Hos’s been decent this year!

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: you made your call 2 or 3 years ago

Grey
Admin
Reply to  J-FOH
6 years ago

They’re all my calls…every one of them!

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: Miller is finally being half the man you called him to be

Grey
Admin
Reply to  J-FOH
6 years ago

Ha

Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey
Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: player rater (esp OBP/OPS) loved him this year as well, it’s why i have him in so many leagues.

Happy Vegans
Happy Vegans
6 years ago

I’ve only seen him hit a few times this season but his lower half didn’t look right. Nagging injury??? Just didn’t look right the whole way through the swing. Also, his IFFB is higher this season. Just missing on his swing? Sore legs would do that.

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Big Magoo
6 years ago

@Big Magoo: it might not be the leg, could be a shoulder or that mysterious oblique everyone claims they have

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Big Magoo
6 years ago

@Big Magoo: maybe he is one of those rare players who tries to play through it?

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Big Magoo
6 years ago

@Big Magoo: actually Mike and I were texting about him a while back and he said CS was chasing everything. Seems like a guy that lost it upstairs and has been pressing

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Big Magoo
6 years ago

@Big Magoo: this was Mikes visual analysis being in the Indians market

Mike
Reply to  J-FOH
6 years ago

to be fair, I didn’t say anything about swinging, I just said he was stupid

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Mike
6 years ago

@Mike: sorry for my bad interpretations

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Mike
6 years ago

@Mike: I could of sworn you said he was chasing alot of bad pitches

Mike
Reply to  J-FOH
6 years ago

for a guy who walks a lot and supposedly has a great eye, he can’t seem to pick out the pitches to drive. You should hear Hamilton (CLE radio guy) on Santana…it’s hilarious.

Mike
Reply to  Mike
6 years ago

and I traded for him, so what does that make me? lol

Mike
Reply to  Big Magoo
6 years ago

that’s one category I would dominate lol

Happy Vegans
Happy Vegans
Reply to  Big Magoo
6 years ago

@Big Magoo: I noticed the SBs too. Of course, if you have sore legs/hips at the beginning of the season and you get your cortisone then, the next one would be about 6 weeks later. BTW he had no SBs in June. And JFK was the target of a multi- corporate conspiracy… there was no moon landing… and there is a military space shuttle.