The Case for Carlos Santana

The Winter Meetings have wrapped up and the Sox have yet to make an offseason move….unless you want to count the release of bust prospect Henry Owens,  or Rule 5 pickups: Andy Ferguson and Luke Tendler.

The Red Sox headline move has been changing beer sponsors from Budweiser to Sam Adams.

The Red Sox aren’t entirely alone, the offseason as a whole (excluding Stanton & Ohtani), has been the slowest moving one in recent history.

As multiple people have explained, that is largely due to Mr. Scott Boras.

Aside from power being the major need for Red Sox, the obvious hole to fill is who mans first base.

The names that have been discussed are Eric Hosmer, Todd Frazier moving from NY to Boston, Hanley going back to 1st (playing solid there in ’16), Devers moving across the diamond, Matt Adams, and bringing back Mitch Moreland.

Not much has been said about Carlos Santana coming to the Red Sox. I’ve heard fans say “He’s just another Mitch Moreland,” but that statement couldn’t be further than the truth.

They both debuted in 2010, so it’s a perfect analogy to show what they have done in their first 8 years as player in MLB.

Mitch Moreland — 922 games

758 for 3004 / .252 AVG / .317 OBP / .439 SLG / .756 OPS / 159 Doubles / 3 Triples / 132 HR / 433 RBI / 372 Runs / 268 Walks / 709 Ks / 8 SBs in 13 attempts.

Moreland is a solid defender at 1st base, earning a Gold Glove for 2016 season with the Texas Rangers.

Carlos Santana — 1,116 games

995 for 3994 / .249 AVG / .365 OBP / .445 SLG / .810 OPS / 236 Doubles / 13 Triples / 174 HR / 587 RBIs / 573 Runs / 726 Walks / 812 Ks / 40 SBs in 57 attempts.

Santana came up as a heralded catching prospect with the Indians, but moved over to 1st base full time during the 2014 season. Over time, Santana has made a name for himself at 1st base that many probably aren’t aware of. Ironically he was 1 of 3 Gold Glove finalists last month, the other two being Eric Hosmer and Mitch Moreland.

From 2011 to 2017, the least amount of games Santana has played in is 143 games. Year in and year out, you know he’s going to be in your lineup 150-160 games. Cora can pretty much write his name on the lineup card in ink, don’t bother with the pencil. Another benefit for the new manager, is that he is a switch hitter.

Santana legitimately has 30 HR power, with the potential for more – due to a move to the friendly confines of Fenway Park.

He has three season of hitting at least 27 HR’s. Mind you that he is just two years moved from busting out 34 HR’s.

Santana thrives due to his patience at the plate, even more than his 30 HR potential. When you know a player on your team is gonna sniff 100 walks every season, you have a gamer who battles every AB and makes the opposing pitcher have to sweat it out.

Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi were the only 2 batters to reach 70 walks. Everyone else was 57 or below.

Terry Francona spoke very highlighly of Santana at the Winter Meetings:

“Rarely, at least in my time, do you see guys change in the middle of their career. He could get kind of surly at times and get a little consumed with how he’s doing, and at about the halfway mark of the last couple years, he’s a better teammate, better person. He turned himself into a very good first baseman. He’s hard not to like, lovable. You see him before the games come up and kiss me on the head, get handshakes with everybody. He’s a great kid.”

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About Christopher Henderson

Lifelong Red Sox fan. Always believing in the impossible. Geek stat eccentric.
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