Carlos Santana
Carlos Santana
33-Year-Old First Baseman1B
Cleveland Indians
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Santana's numbers were a disappointment for the Phillies, who signed him for three years and $60 million last winter. There are reasons to be encouraged by his season, however. His walk rate spiked to 16.2% while his strikeout rate fell to a career-low 13.7%, leaving him with a 1.18 BB/K, second in the league to Jose Ramirez. He ran into a lot of bad batted-ball luck, finishing with a .231 BABIP, which fell far below his career .265 mark. It's not outrageous to think he can get back close to the .259 batting average he posted for two straight years before coming to Philadelphia as long as he holds onto his plate discipline improvements. Age concerns can't be ignored, as Santana turns 33 in early April, but the trade back to the American League and into a likely DH role with the Indians should help keep him fresh. Read Past Outlooks
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$Signed a three-year, $60 million contract with the Phillies in December of 2017. Traded to the Mariners in December of 2018. Traded to the Indians in December of 2018. Contract includes a $17.5 million team option for 2021.
Third homer in four starts
1BCleveland Indians
May 22, 2019
Santana went 1-for-2 with a solo home run and two walks Wednesday in the Indians' 5-3 loss to the Athletics.
Francisco Lindor tied Santana for the team lead when he slugged his seventh home run of the season in the first inning, but Santana reclaimed sole possession of first place after taking Chris Bassitt deep in the bottom of the third. The first baseman has been the Indians' best all-around hitter throughout the season, but he's been particularly productive over his last six starts. During that span, he's gone 8-for-18 with three home runs, seven RBI, five runs and an 8:2 BB:K.
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2017
Since 2017vs Left .812 494 61 18 69 1 .264 .368 .443
Since 2017vs Right .801 1058 139 37 124 7 .242 .362 .439
2019vs Left .939 64 5 1 10 0 .333 .469 .471
2019vs Right .859 142 23 7 18 1 .261 .380 .479
2018vs Left .816 176 26 8 30 0 .255 .352 .464
2018vs Right .747 503 56 16 56 2 .219 .352 .396
2017vs Left .777 254 30 9 29 1 .255 .354 .423
2017vs Right .844 413 60 14 50 4 .262 .368 .476
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2017
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
OPS at Home
OPS on Road
Since 2017Home .819 756 106 29 100 5 .254 .368 .451
Since 2017Away .791 796 94 26 93 3 .244 .361 .430
2019Home .905 114 17 5 16 1 .275 .421 .484
2019Away .860 92 11 3 12 0 .291 .391 .468
2018Home .860 329 51 13 48 1 .266 .392 .468
2018Away .679 350 31 11 38 1 .195 .314 .365
2017Home .747 313 38 11 36 3 .236 .323 .424
2017Away .883 354 52 12 43 2 .281 .398 .485
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Stat Review
How does Carlos Santana compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against this season's data (min 100 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB Rate
K Rate
Exit Velocity
93.5 mph
Hard Hit Rate
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Defensive Stats
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Carlos Santana
Minor League Barometer: Risers & Fallers
5 days ago
With a bunch of prospects earning recent promotions, Jesse Siegel looks at the next crop of young hotshots set to make the jump.
Yahoo DFS Baseball: Friday Picks
9 days ago
Mike Barner tees up a wild 15-game slate Friday, providing his recommendations for creating a solid Yahoo DFS lineup.
DraftKings MLB: Friday Picks
16 days ago
For Friday’s slate, Chris Bennett recommends a Phillies stack featuring a raking Rhys Hoskins against Royals pitcher Homer Bailey.
FanDuel MLB: Sunday Breakdown
21 days ago
Sasha Yodashkin notes left-handed slugger Daniel Vogelbach has been a revelation against right-handed pitching for the Mariners, posting a wOBA just under .500 heading into this matchup with the Indians.
Rounding Third: Exploring Hitter Statcast Data
41 days ago
Teoscar Hernandez was a surprise leader among qualified hitters in barreled hits percentage last season – among the revelations that Jeff Erickson discovered while navigating batter Statcast data.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
For the sixth time in the last seven seasons, including the last five in a row, the durable Santana played in at least 152 games. As usual, Santana's calling card was patience, as he walked 13.2 percent of the time, which was surprisingly a career-low mark. However, he made up for it with an uptick in contact rate. Coming off a season where Santana slugged 34 homers, 23 is a bit disappointing, but that mark was in line with totals previous to his outlying 2016 campaign. Santana swatted 37 doubles, his second-highest total ever, so he was just a few timely breezes away from a few extra homers. Santana's skill set allows him to lead off, or bat in the heart of the order, but he'll likely serve in the latter capacity after signing a three-year deal with the Phillies in December. He's better in OBP and points leagues scoring walks, and while Santana's upside is limited, his floor and durability allow you to take some chances elsewhere on your roster.
Santana set career highs in homers, runs, and RBI while tipping his batting average over the league average for the first time in three seasons. His days of playing up the defensive spectrum are done, but he returned to hitting with the power fantasy owners like to see from first basemen. His RBI production dipped as he spent most of his time hitting leadoff, thanks to his abilities to work counts and accept walks (.365 career OBP). Those skills are always going to ensure he hits in the top half of the lineup, and he has been durable, racking up six consecutive seasons of 600 or more plate appearances. While a switch hitter, the power comes from the left side, as 30 of his 34 homers last year were as a lefty and 77 percent of his career homers are as a lefty. As long as prospective owners realize his potential pitfalls -- mainly a batting average that could be on the wrong side of .250 -- he'll deliver, even more so in OBP leagues.
Santana is never going to bat for a high average, having hit above .260 in just one of his five full seasons in the big leagues, but the plate skills remain steady. He matched his career-high with 85 RBI and managed to score 72 runs by drawing 108 walks. Unfortunately, the power dipped in 2015, well below the league average among qualifiers. In fact, his career-worst .395 slugging percentage was bested by the likes of Kevin Pillar, Francisco Cervelli and Marcus Semien, to name a few. The Indians were hopeful that the transition from behind the plate and the hot corner would help resurrect his bat but that hasn't been the case, and what's left is a declining player who is now just first-base eligible. Regardless, Santana still has two years left on a club-friendly five-year, $21 million deal, and appears likely to open 2016 as the everyday first baseman.
Santana was looking like one of the bigger fantasy busts after the first two months of the season, as he hit just .159/.327/.301 and suffered a concussion late in May that sent him to the 7-day DL. The Indians did away with his limited role behind the plate following the scare and also put an end to his audition at third base, having him instead focus primarily on improving at the dish, and indeed he did improve, hitting .310 (54-for-174) with 14 homers in June and July. Although the power numbers and batting average slipped in August and September (.225 average, seven homers), Santana matched his career-high with 27 homers in 2014 and set a new career high with 85 RBI, while leading the major leagues with 113 walks and maintaining a strikeout rate (18.8%) right around his career norm (18.0%). His BABIP was down at .249, suggesting the average will rebound in 2014, and he made enough appearances at third base (26) to earn eligibility in most leagues. He'll lose catcher eligibility in many formats, however, after making just 11 appearances at the position.
Santana's gradual move from behind the plate was accelerated with the development of Yan Gomes, but he still figures to see enough action behind the plate to qualify in most formats for at least a few more years. The power he flashed back in 2011 may have been his peak, but he's still driving in and scoring runs at a nice clip for a catcher thanks to his hold on a place in the heart of the Cleveland lineup. Santana was reportedly unhappy about yielding a significant share of time behind the plate, but the move should help him avoid the bumps and bruises that tend to mount with heavy use at the position, while also boosting his offensive numbers. Look for his playing time to come in the form of a rotation between catcher, first base and DH again in 2014.
Santana had a fine season, but it wasn't quite the encore performance many were expecting after his 2011 season. He was dreadful in the first half (.675 OPS, five homers) before rebounding in the second half (.887 OPS, 13 homers) to help salvage his season. The Indians may try to get him out from behind the plate more often, but he'll still spend most of his time as the team's starting catcher. He'll continue to offer plus-power from the behind the dish, and Santana is certainly capable of delivering two halves in line with the post-break numbers of a year ago.
Santana had his share of struggles in his first full year in the bigs, hitting just .239. The power and patience remained, as evidenced by his 35 doubles, 27 homers and 97 walks in 658 plate appearances. The Indians did a nice job of splitting his duties between catcher and first base and that trend should continue again this season. He still does a fine enough job behind the plate to avoid moving over to first base on a permanent basis, and the power and patience point to a breakout season despite last year's disappointing batting average.
Santana bludgeoned his way to a promotion in June (1.045 OPS at Triple-A) and then saw his rookie season come to an abrupt end with a season-ending knee injury in early August. He hit .260 with six homers and drew a remarkable 37 walks over 150 at-bats for the Indians. He'll give you plus-power for a catcher and an excellent OBP as the Indians' primary backstop and all signs point to him being completely healed by spring training. There's a good chance his injury will lead you to a discount on draft day, so be ready to invest for Year 2.
Santana had a monster season at Double-A Akron, hitting .290/.413/.530 with 30 doubles and 23 homers and earning the Eastern League MVP award. The switch hitter has power to all fields, an excellent batting eye and a solid contact rate for a player with his power (283 K in 1925 plate appearances in his minor league career). He's shown enough behind the plate to avoid any talk of shifting him over to first base, but his bat is good enough to play there as well. Lou Marson, Wyatt Toregas and Chris Gimenez will keep the position warm to start the season, but Santana will be the team's primary catcher at some point this season.
Santana exploded onto the prospect radar with a .326/.431/.568 season between High-A stops for Los Angeles and Cleveland after coming over to the Indians in the Casey Blake trade. He's got plus-power (21 homers and 39 doubles), an excellent batting eye (89 walks in 463 at-bats) and an adequate defensive reputation. We'll see how he fares at Double-A this season but so far the results are good. He should be on everyone's prospect radar by now.
More Fantasy News
Clubs game-winning homer
1BCleveland Indians
May 4, 2019
Santana went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer in Saturday's 5-4 win over the Mariners.
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Power surge continues
1BCleveland Indians
May 1, 2019
Santana went 2-for-4 with a solo home run in Wednesday's 4-2 loss to the Marlins.
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Smacks third homer
1BCleveland Indians
April 30, 2019
Santana went 3-for-5 with a solo home run, two RBI and two runs scored Tuesday against the Marlins.
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Clocks solo homer
1BCleveland Indians
April 28, 2019
Santana went 1-for-4 with a solo homer in Sunday's 4-1 loss to Houston.
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Makes impact in return to lineup
1BCleveland Indians
April 20, 2019
Santana went 3-for-5 with a run, an RBI and a stolen base in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader against Atlanta.
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