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

Report: NFL looking into Bill Belichick's camera ideas

Saints CB Brian Dixon arrested in Miami

CC Sabathia goes off about spring training stats

Kentucky remains unbeaten after thrilling win over ND

Alabama DT arrested on domestic violence charges again

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

John Calipari blasted for postgame interview

WATCH: MJ, Tom Brady play pickup game in Bahamas

WATCH: Wrong national anthem played for El Salvador

WATCH: Russell Wilson smashes HR in Rangers BP

John Fox: Jay Cutler will have to earn starting QB job

Report: Shaka Smart, Gregg Marshall candidates for Texas

WATCH: Kris Letang hospitalized after hit

Aaron Rodgers, sports writer get into it over on-court access

Sam Dekker's hot shooting sends Wisconsin to Final Four

Jim McElwain complains about Florida roster

Mark Few: I put Coach K up there with John Wooden

WATCH: Enes Kanter embraces boos in return to Utah

Mariners prospect dies from boat accident injuries

T.J. Ford sends heartfelt tweet about Rick Barnes

Bruins coach suits up as backup goalie

Tennessee fans show love for Bruce Pearl on campus rock

Louisville guard turned off phone after clutch NC State win

Steve Spurrier hung out with Kenny Chesney before concert

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

Report: NFL looking into more cameras

CC Sabathia goes off about spring stats

John Fox: Cutler will have to earn job

Texas eyeing Shaka Smart, Gregg Marshall?

WATCH: Brady jumps off cliff in Costa Rica

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Nique in HORSE

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Notre Dame vs. Kentucky

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

James Harden and the collective consciousness

Hottest coaching seats in NBA

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.