Originally written on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 11/9/14
Mlb-indians-blue-jays
If I told you that a particular player had a career 15.4% walk rate, 18.0% strikeout rate, and 17.7% line drive rate, you’d think he was a .280 hitter. Nope. That player is Carlos Santana and in 1,459 career plate appearances he’s just a .247 hitter.Honestly, I can’t figure out why. His 17.7% line drive rate is a few points lower than the league average (typically 20-21%), but his walk rate is phenomenal and his strikeout rate isn’t too shabby either. Last year Santana was downright filthy with a 14.9% walk rate, 16.6% strikeout rate, and 19.1% line drive rare and he still batted just .252.Our xBA formula takes into account more than just those three factors, though, and Santana’s xBA took a major hit thanks to a higher-than-average 11.5% infield fly rate and some sub-par foot speed. I still believe that one of these years we’ll see Santana put it all together and post a BABIP north of last year’s .278 mark, and I’m willing to gamble that we see that as soon as 2013.At a GlanceStrengths: HR, RBI, OBP, OPSNeutral: R, BA, SLGWeaknesses: SBPlayer ComparisonsBest-case scenario: Jay Bruce (CIN)Likely scenario: Matt Wieters (BAL), Miguel Montero (ARI), Mike Napoli (BOS)Worst-case scenario: Dan Uggla (ATL)Carlos Santana 2013 Fantasy ProjectionLast year Santana’s fly ball rate dipped to 37.8%. It’s tough to know if that was a one-year anomaly or a continuing trend as his fly ball rate has fallen each year. Regardless, we project a rebound year, but only to 39.2%. With the power Santana has and the plethora of plate appearances the Indians provide him with annually, he has a great chance at breaking out for 30 homers this year. I’m very confident he hits at least 25, and that’s a pretty good number for a catcher.After signing Michael Bourn, Cleveland actually has a pretty lethal top half of their lineup. Bourn, Jason Kipnis, Asdrubal Cabrera, Nick Swisher, and Santana will all benefit from the guys batting around them, and I think it’s enough to get Santana to the 90-RBI threshold, especially if his batting average improves like we expect.Even though he qualifies at first base, he’ll almost exclusively be used as a catcher. Still, the dual eligibility is nice as is the fact that Santana is among the game’s elites in terms of OBP. For a guy with just three years of MLB experience, Santana’s career .116 BOD (that’s Batting Average/On-Base Differential for you noobs out there) is particularly impressive. The fact that he has a career .363 OBP despite a .247 career average is pretty amazing. If he’s able to get his average up to, say, .270, we could be looking at a catcher with a .385+ OBP. That’s Joe Mauer, Buster Posey, Miguel Montero territory.To make a long bio short, I love Santana. And I really love him in OBP leagues.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Cormier tells Jones to get his s-- together

Fans holding 'Free Tom Brady Rally' at Gillette Stadium

Josh Hamilton to be activated by Rangers

WATCH: Top CB recruit makes insane catch doing backflip

Biggest surprises of the MLB season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Marcus Mariota leads NFL in jersey sales for May

Report: Scott Skiles frontrunner for Magic coaching job

Shanahan: injuries are not why Robert Griffin III struggles

Kyle Korver ruled out for remainder of playoffs

Randy Moss attends cancer survivor's graduation

Roger Staubach shares thoughts on Greg Hardy

Warriors crush Rockets in Houston to take 3-0 series lead

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell whiffs on horrible golf swing

Brian Matusz ejected for having foreign substance on arm

PHOTO: Don Cherry wears wild suit even for his taste

PHOTOS: Gigantic sinkhole at Jack Nicklaus golf course

WATCH: Memphis player catches defense sleeping, scores

WATCH: Astros turn around-the-horn triple play

French Open Women's preview: Who will make the quarters?

WATCH: Bryan Price gets ejected before game starts

WATCH: Vin Scully narrates fan's marriage proposal

WATCH: Harper, Matt Williams have special handshake

The Yankees are succeeding despite the numbers

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Eight biggest surprises of the MLB season

Bryan Price ejected before first pitch

Vin Scully narrates marriage proposal

Pats fan's obituary defends Brady

Marlins players skip own charity event

John Wall tells All-NBA Team voters to ‘keep sleeping’

Jim Kelly: No doubt Tom Brady cheated

Post-combine NBA Draft big board: Top 30

Ex-players sue NFL for conspiring to push painkillers

Astros surprising, but can get better with Correa

Here come the Giants

Aaron Hernandez got new tattoo in prison

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.