By Jay Blue
Blue Jays from Away
Now that the season is over, the crew at Blue Jays from Away will take a look at the Blue Jays one by one and review how each player’s season went, whether he met expectations (or not) and look at how he fits into (what we think of) the Blue Jays’ plans going forward.
Luis Santos finally got his shot at The Show, after six years in the minor leagues, and he made the most of it for the Toronto Blue Jays.
For several years, Santos has been what you might consider an "org guy," a player who is important for filling roles within the organization but not really considered a prospect. Originally signed as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic by the Pittsburgh Pirates (back in 2011), he was traded to Kansas City in 2012 and, after a couple of seasons that weren't necessarily bad, was released by the Royals just before the 2015 season.
The Blue Jays signed him to a minor league deal and he started his Toronto tenure in class-A Advanced Dunedin where he was a swing man (although mostly a starter). He split 2016 between double-A New Hampshire and Dunedin and was assigned back to New Hampshire to start the 2017 season without even getting into a big league spring training game.
He made four appearances with New Hampshire (giving up four runs in 6 1/3 innings) before getting promoted to triple-A Buffalo where he worked both in the rotation and in the bullpen (although mostly as a starter). His numbers in Buffalo were decent, with a 4.07 ERA and 1.25 WHIP over 108 1/3 innings, striking out 21.7% of batters and walking 9.8% and getting a 36.5% ground ball rate.
Santos was called up to Toronto in September and was used often by manager John Gibbons, getting into 10 games and posting a 2.70 ERA over 16 2/3 innings with a 1.14 WHIP, 23.5% strikeout rate and 5.9% walk rate.
Santos is a very good pitcher to have around in triple-A. When I saw him in spring training last year, he was throwing a fastball in the 90+ mph range but could also dial it up to 93-95. Looking back, I have a feeling that he was mixing in a cutter with his four seamer that looked like it had a fair bit of movement on it. He was also throwing a hard 12-6 curveball. He's a fairly polished pitcher and he'll only be 27 in 2018. We can call him some home-grown depth in the organization on the mound and he can pitch in both the bullpen and the rotation if necessary.
Santos was re-signed to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training after he became a free agent this off-season.
2017 Regular Season Grades
Jay Blue: B+
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The 2017 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook is now available! Visit the Handbook page for more information!