Is Domingo Santana’s 2017 Breakout Season Sustainable?


The Milwaukee Brewers stunned everybody in baseball — and most certainly themselves, too — in 2017 by way of competing for a Nationwide League playoff spot till the very finish of the common season. For a group anticipated to undergo some other yr of rebuilding to exceed expectancies such a lot, a lot of gamers needed to abruptly building up their efficiency.

A type of gamers used to be outfielder Domingo Santana, who broke out in a large means all through his first complete season’s value of plate appearances within the large leagues. Thru 607 journeys to the plate, he slashed .278/.371/.505 with 30 house runs, eighty five RBI, 88 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases, which culminated in a 126 wRC+ and three.three fWAR.

That it seems that wasn’t sufficient, although. The Brewers just lately got Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain within the span of approximately an hour, which made over the highest in their lineup and outfield, along side developing somewhat of a logjam. Amongst tradable belongings they may use to procure a beginning pitcher, Santana suits the construct — in any case, he’s coming off a breakout season and is simply 25 years antique.

There are considerations together with his propensity for racking up strikeouts (29.three% price in ’17, 31.7% for profession) and lack of ability to box (-20 Protective Runs Stored in his profession), in order that may just make issues tricky. A few of his peripherals may additionally provide probably groups pause over whether or not his 2017 marketing campaign is sustainable shifting ahead.

Distinctive Corporate

While taking a look in the course of the numbers Santana produced ultimate yr, it’s fascinating to notice that the selection of homers he hit (30) used to be upper than his fly-ball price (27.7%). His 27.five% profession fly-ball fee no less than presentations us that what he did in 2017 wasn’t essentially an aberration, however for those who’re considering it’s uncommon for a participant to revel in a 30-homer marketing campaign on this type, you’d be proper.

Because the 2002 season, there have best been 3 different cases of it — Shawn Inexperienced in 2002 (forty two homers, 29.7% fly-ball price), Robinson Cano in 2012 (33 homers, 25.eight% fly-ball price), and Ryan Braun in 2016 (30 homers, 25.1% fly-ball price).


With Miller Park being certainly one of baseball’s extra hitter-pleasant venues, it’s now not unexpected to peer that 18 of Santana’s 30 homers got here in entrance of the house crowd. What’s extra curious, although, is that in spite of it being a way smaller pattern measurement, his effects have been the exact opposite in 2016 — eight of his eleven overall homers got here at the street.

To make this much more of a head-scratching state of affairs, the house/street splits in regards to his batted-ball profile glance exceptionally other from three hundred and sixty five days to the following. The primary desk presentations how his line-force price (LD%), floor-ball price (GB%), fly-ball price (FB%), and Remoted Energy (ISO) examine to each other in 2016.

2016 PA LD% GB% FB% ISO
House 142 32.five% forty four.2% 23.four% .one hundred thirty
Street 139 27.eight% forty four.three% 27.eight% .252

Now, allow’s see how this comparability shifts from favoring the street to favoring Miller Park this previous yr.

2017 PA LD% GB% FB% ISO
House 294 23.eight% 39.nine% 36.three% .254
Street 313 30.eight% forty nine.five% 19.eight% .201

His ISO at the street continues to be above moderate, however seeing this kind of shift all the way through this time doesn’t essentially transparent issues up while speaking concerning the sustainability of his numbers.

Loads of Onerous Touch

The only factor making this all imaginable is Santana’s high quality of touch. At the same time as the younger outfielder does strikeout so much, his plate self-discipline is if truth be told somewhat just right — his 26.five% chase fee and seventy one.three% swing price on moves are each above-moderate marks.

He’ll whiff greater than we’d like — his thirteen.eight% swinging-strike used to be one of the crucial most sensible-20 best charges amongst certified hitters final yr — however he’s no less than being competitive inside the strike zone. And while Santana makes touch, it’s in most cases been exhausting.

His 39.7% arduous-hit price and eleven.7% cushy-hit fee weren’t best each unmarried-season profession highs, however they have been additionally a few of the league leaders. Once we upload that to a 27.four% line-pressure price that trailed most effective Daniel Murphy (27.6%), we will be able to in part see why his BABIP settled in at .363.

As we’ve noticed repeatedly ahead of, for gamers like Santana that aren’t essentially making a large number of touch or getting a ton of balls up within the air, it’s essential for him to benefit from those he does. After posting a cushy-hit price and forty seven.five% exhausting-hit price on fly balls in 2016, Santana amped up the ones numbers to nine.three% and fifty four.6%, respectively, in 2017.

Santana isn’t pulling so much of them, despite the fact that. His profession pull price on fly balls is 10.eight%, which incorporates a 10.three% mark from this earlier yr. If his house video games are performed in a unique park this season, he would possibly not have the similar fortune in regards to a few of his energy numbers.

The Jury Is Nonetheless Out

Will Santana remain a hitter that’s gentle on fly balls however heavy online drives and tough touch shifting ahead? It seems like that may be the case judging from a few of his early-profession effects, nevertheless it’s nonetheless very so much up within the air.

At the same time as his up to date manufacturing makes a legitimate argument for him being the center-piece of a industry, it’s simple to peer why any attainable suitor may well be cautious primarily based off the strikeouts, sub-par safeguard, and a few asymmetric peripherals.

Then again, that is nonetheless a participant getting into his age-25 season, so his top years are theoretically in advance of him. And even if there are considerations, he did reinforce each his high quality of touch and fly-ball fee from the yr previous with constant enjoying time. It’ll be an important for him to stay his aggressiveness within the strike zone, so as to in flip lend a hand his high quality of touch numbers stay the place they’re.

He’ll most probably be one of the most extra vital items in any deal if the Brewers do discover a industry spouse, however they’ll almost certainly have so as to add extra reliable skill/attainable in the event that they plan on netting themselves a most sensible-tier controllable beginning pitcher.

Approximately Matt Musico

Matt Musico lately manages Chin Track Baseball and contributes to The Sports activities Day by day. His previous paintings has been featured at FanDuel Insider, numberFire, Yahoo! Sports activities and Bleacher Record. He’s a lover of all baseball, particularly the Mets.



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