Edgar Santana Promoted to Indianapolis

The Pittsburgh Pirates have promoted relief pitching prospect Edgar Santana from Altoona to Indianapolis. This continues the rapid progression for the right-hander, who started the year in Bradenton, and now finds himself one step away from the majors. This continues a rapid rise, as he went from Morgantown to West Virginia last year, and was pitching in the DSL in 2014.

Santana put up a 2.83 ERA in 41.1 innings with Altoona, along with a 39:11 K/BB ratio. This came after he had an 0.81 ERA in 22.1 innings in Bradenton, with a 20:2 K/BB ratio. He got off to a slower start in Altoona, with two bad outings in his first four appearances, giving up seven earned runs in 3.2 innings in those games. Since that last bad outing, he had a 1.65 ERA, giving up just six earned runs in 32.2 innings over his next 17 appearances, along with a 31:5 K/BB ratio. He finished his time in Altoona with 12.2 consecutive shutout innings, striking out 12 and walking two in the process.

There’s a reason Santana has been putting up great numbers and getting aggressively promoted. He sits 93-96 MPH with his fastball, showing a lot of movement on the pitch. He pairs that with a nasty slider, giving him two plus pitches, and making him a high upside reliever. Santana got off to a late start in his career, making his debut at the age of 22 in the DSL. The rapid rise through the system has made up for the late start, and now he finds himself in Triple-A at age 24, with a chance to make the majors in the next year, and possibly this year as a September call-up if he does well enough in Indianapolis.

Santana was rated the number 36 prospect in the system in our mid-season top 50 update. He’s expected to join the Indians tonight in Columbus.

  • BallHeadWonder
    August 1, 2016 2:34 pm

    That is exciting to see!! Would love to see Never Nervous Neverauskas and Santana in September!! Looks like we will the way Indy is playing!! Quick question Tim and John!! Do they both have the stuff to replace Hughes and Caminero??? Just looking ahead, because I do like the thought of Nicasio, Rivero, Feliz and Tony on that back end!! Now you look at upgrading over Hughes and Caminero. But Clint is SUPER LOYAL to Hughes!! He might start crying if you bring his name up about getting rid of him!! HAHAHA

  • JustABitOutside
    August 1, 2016 1:32 pm

    In your rankings, you said he could be ranked higher if it weren’t for command issues. I don’t see command issues in his stat line. Are you referencing something you have observed? (i.e. he leaves too many pitches up and so advanced hitters will capitalize?)

    • I’m talking command, as in the way he commands his pitches. He doesn’t have horrible control issues, but his slider doesn’t always act like a plus offering, and doesn’t have consistent movement. Just natural stuff for players to iron out. Important to consider that this is only his third year in pro ball, and he didn’t have much experience before that.

      • JustABitOutside
        August 1, 2016 1:51 pm

        Thank you for the reply. I figured it had to be something I was misunderstanding. Hopefully time will allow him to work that out- I would rather not see him in the majors in Sept. I hope he can develop that command and be a useful 7th inning option next year at some point

      • Only 6’0″ 180 and he does not even look that heavy. I applaud you, John, and Wilbur for jumping this kid to #36 without even any mention of him in the Pre-Season Top 50. Did he jump 20 slots? Is that a record?

        • MJ….I believe Keith Law also touted him, too. So it wasn’t like he came out of the woodwork. 🙂

        • Our write-up in the book was similar to the one above, with this at the end:

          “He should open up in the Bradenton bullpen in 2016 and could move to Altoona mid-season if he continues to impress. He could move into prospect status if he has success at the higher levels next year.”

          We weren’t going to put him in the top 50 until he made it to the upper levels. We’re generally lower on ranking relievers. But most of this shows how impressive his season has been.

  • Excellent, after watching Rivero yesterday I firmly believe Huntington did the right thing to trade Melancon. I agree I am not sure the bullpen is appreciably weaker. I would not do a trade unless it makes us better in 2017. I also think we need to think about possibility of extending Freese and Joyce. Its been the best bench put together in a long time. Its just too bad the starting pitching didnt work out along with the slumps of Cutch, Kang, Cervelli and Jaso.. I am ok with adding a starter but would not want to give up Braud, Kuhl, or even Williams. I think NH dilemma is to how to stay in the wc race but at some point you have to decide if you have a shot or just need to get ready for 2017. I think its the latter but you cant send that message just yet.

    • I liked the trade and thought the Pirates got a lot of potential in return. Rivero was not sharp yesterday, but consideration should be given to moving from a sure playoff contender to the Pirates, and just the normal drive to be really impressive in the first appearance.

      I think the positive for him is the ability to compete for the Closer Role for the Pirates. Yes, I like the work that Tony Watson has done for the Pirates, but his velocity seems to be down this year, and he has never developed that swing and miss pitch that successful Closers must have. It is mostly velocity, but MM succeeded with a nice Slider and a huge hard breaking curve to go along with a 93/94 mph FB.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    August 1, 2016 12:59 pm

    good deal….sounds like he has earned it. This is an example of managing promotions smartly…given his age and his high level of performance each step of the way, they moved this guy up aggressively and appropriately….We have a couple of other older International players at lower levels who need to be promoted in a similar fashion – Fuentes may be one of them…

  • Santana and Neverauskas look to be great additions to our pen next year. Hope they pan out well

  • RP’s beginning to stack up in AAA & AA. I see Santana, Neverauskas, DuRapau, Waddell, & Eppler as legit solid prospects for the Pen who are approaching ripeness. And a host of others in A-ball. No more dumpster diving necessary come mid-2017.

  • Put Caminero back on the DL, we need him this year

  • Slider/fastball…we need him next year.

  • Couldn’t you find a creepier picture of him?