When Adalberto Santos made his debut last year, putting up a strong .319/.406/.479 line in 238 at-bats, it came with the disclaimer that he was a college senior, making the jump to a league that he should dominate as a college senior. However, this year he has moved up to high-A, and has been impressive, putting up a very similar .310/.390/.462 line in 197 at-bats. That’s more impressive when you consider that he hit for a .241/.323/.328 line in the month of May.
Part of the reason his numbers have been so great is due to the strong June and July that Santos has put up. Since the start of June, he’s hit for a .344/.432/.559 line in 93 at-bats. He’s also displayed some nice speed, with five triples in that time span, and nine of his 16 stolen bases on the year. Even better, his 18:13 K/BB ratio has displayed the same strong plate patience we’ve seen from him throughout his short career.
This is very impressive for a 22nd round pick from the 2010 draft. Generally, the biggest jump for a hitter comes from high-A to AA, so his success so far as a player out of college should be taken with a grain of salt. Santos is 23, so he’s a little old for the high-A level. However, if he can maintain these numbers, he would have value, as he can play second base, as well as all three outfield spots. He’s very similar to Brock Holt, who also hit well in the New York-Penn League, only to jump to high-A and have the same success in Bradenton. With each player, their value is ultimately with the bat, and each profile as strong utility players, with the chance to be a starter if they continue hitting in the upper levels.
It’s doubtful that Santos would get promoted to Altoona this year, as he has just 193 at-bats in high-A, and his success is largely driven by a 93 at-bat hot streak. However, if he continues this success through the end of the season, he could very well end up in Altoona at the start of the 2012 season, at which point we can start to get a better idea as to what the Pirates have with their surprising 2010 22nd round pick.