Originally written on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 1/2/12

Santos became 2011′s poster boy for the “Don’t pay for saves” campaign and this offseason he renewed his passport, brushed up on his French and moved north of the border where he will be the Blue Jays closer for 2012 and beyond. In 2011, he took over closer duties in Chicago after plan A and B failed for the White Sox. All he did was save 30 games and strike out 92 batters over 63 1/3 innings. This year, he will pitch in a tougher division, but he’s also on a better team that should give him more save opportunities. Santos features a mid-90′s fastball, a slider (his “out” pitch) and a changeup that he rarely uses.

Best case scenario: Craig Kimbrel (ATL)
Similar players: Carlos Marmol (CHC), Drew Storen (WAS), Koji Uehara ( TEX)
Worst case scenario: Francisco Cordero (FA)

Strengths

Strikeouts. Last year, Santos struck out 13.07 batter per nine innings which ranked fourth among all pitchers with at least 50 innings pitched. He relies a lot on his slider as an “out” pitch.

Weakness

Control. He struggles with walks at times and has two straight seasons with a BB/9 over four. That’s not good, but you can live with it, just as Carlos Marmol owners.

ADP Report (N/A)

It’s a little ridiculous that Santos, an opening day closer, isn’t among Mock Draft Central’s top 385 drafted players and that will obviously change as more mock draft are completed. It’s still early. I’d say Santos should be a safe bet to finish as a top 15 closer because of the strikeouts, which means he should be drafted in the mid-to-late rounds of your draft.

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