Originally posted on Fantasy Baseball Dugout  |  Last updated 3/22/12

The New York Mets have to be pleased with the progress made by Johan Santana.  Santana turned in an impressive performance in Wednesday’s Spring Training game against the World Series champion Cardinals as he dueled Jake Westbrook.  Santana pitched 6 innings, struck out 6, and did not walk a batter.

PALM BALL: Johan Santana is a buy for our 2012 fantasy draft.

World Series hero David Freese was so flummoxed by Santana’s pitching that he threw his bat…twice.  Santana’s fastball nestled into the 86-88 range and one time hit 90, but velocity has never been Santana’s game anyway.  It’s his off-speed repertoire that gets people out.

Santana missed all of the 2011 season after having shoulder surgery in September 2010.  Back in 2010, when the Mets were still considered competitors in the now much stronger NL East, Santana notched a 2.98 ERA and 1.18 WHIP.  That compared to his career marks of 3.10 and 1.12.

In 13.1 innings this Spring, Santana has yielded 13 hits while walking 4 and striking out 8.  Opponents are hitting .255 against him.  Certainly, that’s not enough work to make any judgements, especially during the Spring, but it is encouraging.

When it comes to Johan Santana, you’ll have to decide for yourself.  Watch him pitch in Spring Training games on the MLB At Bat app, on MLB.com, or wherever you can pick up the games.  That’s the only clues you’ll have on what he has to offer for your upcoming fantasy baseball draft.

Fantasy Baseball Projection: Johan Santana — As for Fantasy Baseball Dugout, we are putting a buy on Johan Santana despite the fact that he’s going to be on a last place team that has won only 4 Spring Training games all year.  At age 33, there’s still life in Santana.  Even on a bad team, Santana can win 12 games and have an ERA in the low 3′s.

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