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The 10 best Mets minor league hitters I saw this year: 6, Luis Santana

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Counting down the best minor league hitters I saw in 2018.

Luis Santana
Steve Sypa

Disclaimer: This is a ranking of the best players that I saw during the 2018 season. I saw a wide cross-section of teams in 2018, seeing the Kingsport Mets, Brooklyn Cyclones, Columbia Fireflies, and Binghamton Rumble Ponies, but I did not see the GCL Mets, St. Lucie Mets, or Las Vegas 51s, nor did I attend every single game of the teams that I did see. As such, this is not a comprehensive Mets prospect list. If a player is not on the list, I either did not see him, or considered the listed ten players better.

Name: Luis Santana

Team: Kingsport Mets

Position: 2B

Born: 7/20/99 (19)

Height: 5’8”

Weight: 175 lbs.

Bats/Throws: R/R

Acquired: IFA, July 7, 2016 (Bani, Dominican Republic)

2018 Season: 53 G, 204 AB, .348/.446/.471, 71 H, 13 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 27 BB, 23 K, 8/11 SB, .376 BABIP (Rookie)

Date(s) Seen: August 16 @ Pulaski (3-4, 2B)

The Man

Luis Santana grew up on his native Dominican Republic boxing, but he eventually began playing baseball. He was signed on July 7, 2016 and given $200,000, one of the highest signing bonuses of all of the rookies that the Mets signed during the 2016-2017 international free agent period. He spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons in the Dominican Summer League and hit a cumulative .317/.413/.462 in 87 games, with 37 walks and 22 strikeouts.

He made his stateside debut this past season, and had an excellent year with the Kingsport Mets. He played 53 games, missing the last few due to a broken hand, and hit .348/.446/.471 with 27 walks and 23 strikeouts.

The Hitter

Luis Santana
Steve Sypa

Santana is listed at 5’8”, but even that seems like a stretch. His small size brings with it a smaller strike zone, and he is no stranger to taking walks, having more career bases on balls than strikeouts. Passively drawing walks is not the infielder’s modus operandi, as he has an above-average hit tool. He possesses plus bat speed and strong wrists, meaning he can barrel almost anything. His mechanics are a bit noisy, with a wide crouch, very exaggerated bat waggle and a large kick, but he makes it work. He swings hard and puts a jolt into the ball, but does not project to be much of a power hitter. Outside of his ability to hit, Santana is not particularly toolsy. His short, stocky frame does not give him much speed and his arm is below average, limiting him to second base.

Looking To 2019

Santana is an above-average hitter, but does not offer too much outside of his ability to hit for average, meaning he will need to continue to hit and hit and hit to have success on the field. He is still young, but has an advanced bat, so the case can be made to assign him to Brooklyn or Columbia for the 2019 season.

The Countdown

7. Matt Winaker

8. Ross Adolph

9. Zach Rheams

10. Juan Uriarte