Ervin Santana
Ervin Santana
36-Year-Old PitcherSP
New York Mets
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Santana was coming off an All-Star season in 2017, but ended up missing most of the year due to a finger injury. He curiously decided to delay surgery to remove a calcium deposit from his right middle finger until Feb. 6. The Twins initially expected the right-hander to return in April. However, his comeback had several setbacks and took longer than expected. When he did return to the mound in August, his finger issues limited his velocity and the results were ugly. Santana averaged just 89 mph on his fastball after averaging around 92 mph each of the previous nine seasons. After giving up 16 runs and nine homers in five starts, he was shut down. When healthy in 2017, Santana had his best average fastball velocity since 2008, but was still pitching over his head (3.28 ERA, 4.46 FIP, 7.1 K/9). His option for 2019 was declined, and the troublesome rehab and perplexing drop in velocity suggest the 36-year-old's career may be nearing a close. Read Past Outlooks
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$Signed a one-year, minor-league contract with the Mets in May of 2019.
Could get spot start
PNew York Mets  A+
June 18, 2019
Santana could get called up to make a spot start while Noah Syndergaard (hamstring) is on the IL, Anthony DiComo of reports.
The veteran hurler didn't look particularly good in his first start for Triple-A Syracuse on Sunday, giving up three runs with a 5:5 K:BB through five innings, but the Mets aren't exactly flush with big-league arms. The team will need to find fill-ins for Syndergaard twice before he's eligible to return as they don't have any off-days that would allow them to juggle their rotation, so while Wilmer Font is considered the top option for Thursday's game, Santana could still be in the picture for a spot start next week -- particularly if Font struggles.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .227 495 74 32 103 17 2 23
Since 2017vs Right .254 547 114 44 124 25 5 23
2019vs Left .300 34 3 3 9 3 0 3
2019vs Right .385 30 2 3 10 4 1 3
2018vs Left .267 71 10 8 16 4 0 4
2018vs Right .375 43 6 1 15 3 1 5
2017vs Left .215 390 61 21 78 10 2 16
2017vs Right .234 474 106 40 99 18 3 15
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
Since 2017Home 4.94 1.35 124.0 6 6 0 6.8 3.3 2.1
Since 2017Away 3.23 1.08 125.1 10 5 0 6.8 2.2 1.2
2019Home 10.38 2.19 8.2 0 1 0 4.2 6.2 5.2
2019Away 7.71 1.29 4.2 0 1 0 1.9 0.0 1.9
2018Home 9.22 1.90 13.2 0 0 0 4.0 4.0 4.6
2018Away 6.55 1.27 11.0 0 1 0 8.2 2.5 1.6
2017Home 3.90 1.21 101.2 6 5 0 7.3 2.9 1.5
2017Away 2.71 1.05 109.2 10 3 0 6.9 2.3 1.1
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Stat Review
How does Ervin Santana compare to other starting pitchers?
This section compares his stats with all starting pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 120 innings)*. 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, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against this season's data (min 70 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in 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.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
90.1 mph
Left On Base
Exit Velocity
89.3 mph
Spin Rate
2112 rpm
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
Swinging Strike
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Defensive Stats
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Todd Zola's pitcher rankings have a lot of volatility this week thanks to rain, injuries and suspensions, while top-rated Carlos Carrasco looks to build off a strong outing.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
Santana had arguably his best season at age 34, posting the second-lowest ERA (3.28) and second-most wins (16) of his 13-year career. He got off to a hot start, going 10-6 with a 2.96 ERA in the first half and making his second All-Star team. By staying healthy, he logged 30 more innings than he did in 2016, eclipsing the 200-inning mark for the sixth time. He parlayed a .245 BABIP (second lowest of his career) and 79.5 percent strand rate (highest of his career) to his best ERA since 2013, making up for the fact he was more homer prone (1.32 HR/9) than he had been in any season since 2012. This is why his 4.46 FIP paints a significantly less rosy picture than his ERA. Still, it's possible the flyball pitcher benefited from Byron Buxton's consistent presence in the outfield -- the center fielder led all outfielders with an MLB-best 25 Outs Above Average mark. Chances are, Santana will not be able to duplicate last season's success on the field, and his innings may tumble after he underwent finger surgery in February.
After missing 80 games due to a suspension for PEDs in 2015, Santana returned to form last season and gave Minnesota the reliable top-of-the-rotation starter they expected after he signed a four-year, $54 million contract. Santana missed a few weeks in May due to a sore back, but he found his form as the weather warmed. He had a 2.65 ERA and 8.25 K/9 after the All-Star break. Santana had his best average fastball velocity in six years, put up a decent strikeout rate (7.4 K/9) and had decent control (2.63 BB/9). His success didn't translate to many wins, however, as Minnesota's anemic offense and poor fielding gave him little support. He should be poised to offer some stability again at the top of Minnesota's rotation and perhaps in stretches as a fantasy No. 5 starter, but counting on him as anything more in mixed leagues will burn aggressive bidders. Note his 3.81 FIP as a palpable downside.
The Twins signed Santana to a four-year, $54 million contract last offseason to fortify the rotation, but he was suspended for 80 games after testing positive for Stanozolol just before the season began. He was erratic when he finally returned in July. Santana began the season with four good starts and then slumped from July 29 to Aug. 25, allowing 31 earned runs in 33 innings with a 4.1 K/9 during that span. He then finished the season strong with a 1.62 ERA and 8.5 K/9 over his last seven starts. With a normal offseason and start to this year, Santana could excel in his first full season atop Minnesota's rotation.
Santana was late finding a home in 2014, as the draft pick compensation attached to him deterred a lot of teams, but after Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy both went down in spring training, the Braves reached out. Betting on himself, Santana signed a one-year, $14.1 million contract, and the immediate returns for Atlanta were significant, as he went 4-0 with a 1.99 ERA in his first six starts. Regression was inevitable, and Santana's ERA more than doubled over his next three outings, but his 3.21 xFIP was more indicative of how he pitched in the first half than his 7-6 record and 4.01 ERA. The right-hander's walk rate went up in the second half (from 2.5 BB/9 to 3.3), but so did his strikeout rate (from 7.8 K/9 to 8.6), and with strong overall results and his health intact, Santana again had the confidence to turn down a qualifying offer ($15.8 million) at the conclusion of the season. He was rewarded for that confidence in the form of a four-year, $54 million contract with Minnesota. Home runs allowed have been a problem for Santana (career 1.2 HR/9), so a move to Target Field will help him as he settle into the No. 2 starter role for the Twins.
After enduring one of his worst seasons in 2012, everything seemed to go just right for the now 31-year-old right-hander in 2013. Santana flourished on the mound for Kansas City, seeing his strikeout rate go up while he lowered his walk rate and maintained an unexpected 3.24 ERA, with a 161:51 K:BB over 211 innings. He gave up fewer home runs, increased his groundball rate and missed plenty of bats, as evidenced by lower contact rates against him and a 10 percent swinging-strike rate. It was a season that both he and the Royals hoped he would have and he was a big part of their reasonably strong showing in the Wild Card race. Of course, a season like that for him meant turning down the Royals' qualifying offer and electing for free agency. The team wants him back, but the price tag may just be too high. At press time though, he remains unsigned.
Santana's final year as an Angel was a gargantuan disappointment, as he finished the season with his worst walk rate since 2007, worst strikeout rate since 2006, and the worst home-run rate of his career. The home runs were especially problematic as Santana led the American League with 39 allowed despite tossing only 178 innings. His astronomical HR/FB rate (18.9%) last season was almost certainly an anomaly, but it's also something that would probably never happen to a pitcher who is both throwing the ball well and pitching half of his games in the pitcher-friendly confines of Angel Stadium. Santana's declining fastball velocity, which fell from an average of 92.8 mph in 2011 to 91.7 mph in 2012, is probably part of the problem and has led to speculation that there is some underlying issue with his elbow. There's really nothing to back that speculation up at this time, but it's hard to know what to expect for Santana in his first season in Kansas City. His upside is probably a good No. 2 pitcher while his downside is the monstrosity of a season that he just produced.
Santana won just 11 games last season, but he posted a career-best 3.38 ERA and struck out 178 batters in 228.2 innings. He'll be arguably the best fourth starter in the league in 2012 on a team that should score more runs than it did last season, so Santana could provide a nice return on his mid-round selection if his offense can get him a few more wins.
Santana bounced back from a rough 2009 season to win a career-high 17 games for the Angels last season. None of his other stats were overly impressive, but the 28-year-old's peripherals were in line with his career norms. Santana is in the prime of his career; but while his numbers are more likely to improve than decline, don't expect him to reach the 214 strikeouts he recorded in 2008.
A sore elbow and subsequent forearm pain prevented Santana from building on his breakthrough 2008 campaign, although he showed enough on his good nights – two shutouts, eight quality starts and 2.48 ERA in his last 11 starts – that you can still see a No. 2 starter in him. Talk up the 5.01 ERA, his crazy home/road splits and the missed time, then snag him late and be very, very happy.
Santana transformed from a fringe starter in spring training into one of the Angels’ best starting pitchers by the end of the season. Santana went 16-7 with a 3.49 ERA and 214 strikeouts in 2007 and helped ease the loss of Kelvim Escobar. Santana’s success last season can be attributed to one thing – his ability to pitch on the road. Santana, who had an 8.38 road ERA in 2007, posted a 3.02 ERA and won 11 games away from home last season. Now that he's taken the leap, we expect similar results in 2009.
Santana’s home ERA: 3.37. Santana’s road ERA: a disastrous 8.38. No other pitcher in the league has home/away splits that resemble these numbers. Still, Santana possesses a high-90s fastball and a dynamite slider. He has obvious talent, but until he figures out how to pitch on the road, he won't have a permanent place in the Angels' starting rotation. Santana will battle Joe Saunders for the No. 5 starter's job this spring, with the loser likely heading to the bullpen. With uncertainty about his spot in the rotation and is inability to pitch in the road, you'll want to limit how much of an investment you make him on draft day. That said, his talent alone makes him an enticing late-round pick if he wins a spot in the Angels rotation.
Santana is further along at age 23 than teammate John Lackey was, providing hope that he'll show the same improvement Lackey did after the same age. The dip in strikeout rate isn't a big deal because it was paired with improvement in command. More valuable with the Angels--with whom he gets 20 or more starts in pitchers' parks--than he'll be if he gets traded.
Like rotation mate John Lackey, Santana picked things up considerably the second half of 2005. He went from a 6.20 ERA in the first half, to 9-4 with a 3.97 ERA in the second half. He'll only be 23 to start the season so look for continued improvement with decent upside.
Santana missed time last season with tendonitis in his right elbow and shoulder. He's the top pitching prospect in the Angels farm system but the nagging arm injuries are a concern. He should be healthy by spring and the organization has high hopes for him. At 22, it's unlikely he'll rise above Triple-A until late in 2005.
Santana went 11-3 with a 2.81 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 26 starts between Double-A Arkansas and Single-A ball last season. He'll probably spend 2004 in Double-A, but may get a shot at Triple-A if he continues to excel. Anahiem's top starter prospect probably won't be a factor in the majors until 2005 at the earliest.
Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2000, the now 20-year old has aged 10 months but remains a top power-pitching prospect. He’s begun filling out his 6’4” frame and now tops the scales at over 170 lbs. His fastball can touch the upper-nineties and he regularly works around the 94-95 mph range. He has a hard slider and good change up to compliment the heat, but both need refining. He’s able to command all three pitches, which bodes well for his future as a major league starter. The 2003 season should find him at High Class-A and if successful could wind up the season in Double-A. It’s probable his development won’t find him in the majors until some time in 2005, but the projection as a top-of-the-rotation pitcher is not unreasonable. Formerly Johan Q. Santana.
More Fantasy News
Latches on with Mets
PNew York Mets  A+
May 24, 2019
Santana signed a minor-league deal with the Mets on Friday.
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Elects free agency
PFree Agent  A+
April 29, 2019
Santana refused an outright assignment to Triple-A Charlotte on Monday and elected free agency.
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Designated for assignment
PChicago White Sox  A+
April 26, 2019
Santana was designated for assignment by the White Sox on Friday.
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Struggles against O's
PChicago White Sox  A+
April 24, 2019
Santana (0-2) took the loss Wednesday, giving up four runs on six hits over 4.2 innings while striking out one as the White Sox dropped a 4-3 decision to the Orioles.
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Slots in Wednesday
PChicago White Sox  A+
April 21, 2019
Santana will start Wednesday in Baltimore, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
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