April 8th, 2017. Dennis Santana started the game vs Stockton. He went 3.2 IP giving up 3R (0 ER) on 3 H with 0 BB and 3K but he did have two HBP.
Scouting Report Framework
Org/Level: LAD, Hi-A
Formerly signed as a SS then converted to the mound. Originally signed by LA in 2013 out of San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic.
Low heart beat, relaxed presence on the mound. Handled his own battle with his command well. Impressive maturity on mound.
Long legs, sloped shoulders and long arms. Almost entirely built up on limbs. Projects well moving forward to get stronger.
Athleticism - Fair (Fut: Good)
Possible product of his physique but Santana doesn't seem to bend his knees and have much desire to get low in the field. Doesn't inherently get off the mound in his delivery either. However, it's fair right now but I could see it improving as Santana develops more into his own body. Balance in particular.
Delivery - Fair
Works from the 1B side of the rubber with a long crossfire delivery. Steps far towards 3B and sweeps his arm around. Pivots on his heel at the finish, back towards home plate. Doesn't finish in much of a position to field or get to 1B though. Gives him uniqueness but constantly challenges his command.
Arm Action - Good
Inverted elbow to sidearm release at foot plant. Sudden jerk/snap at release. Despite snap, fairly low effort arm action and seems to repeat it well.
Deception - Excellent
Mostly stems from his delivery. Shows the ball a bit in the back but it's hidden behind his body for almost the entire remainder of his motion.
Pitchability/Feel - Good
Simple but effective from what I saw. Fastballs arm side and sliders breaking over glove side. Works much better vs RHH. Has a plan for LHH, but it tests his command much more and leads to more difficulty.
Velo: 92-94, 92 Avg
Movement: Typically called a sinker but gets natural run on it from his release point as well. Calling 4SM with slight run.
Use: Works down in the zone as a bread and butter pitch. Shows excellent command of the bottom of the zone but does not seem to be as comfortable working his FB glove side. Doesn't really need to with RHH but struggles to get into LHH. Plays even as he gets deception but less life on the FB. Needs location and angle for impact and usually gets it to RHH. Could have a bit more in the tank, but only saw 92-94 on this cold night. Hard to guess, but I think the likely avg will be 94 If he's throwing up to 97-98 and still needs to take a bit off to get it in the zone properly.
Velo: 81-84, 83 avg
Movement: Wide, 10/4 slurve shape. Tight spin though and has a firmness to it that most similar breaking balls don't.
Use: Given his FB use, the slider is almost used how most pitchers use their fastball. Santana elevates the slider and can drop it in to steal strikes or get swing/miss against RHH. He shows much better command of it in the zone and doesn't get as much out of it lower down. Will need to get better command low to use it against LHH.
Velo: 87-89, 88 avg
Movement: Floats a bit and has soft run.
Use: Less impactful than his other offerings. Not sure it will carry much use given how close it is to his FB. Hangs more like a BP fastball and doesn't move much different from his fastball.
Enough control to keep himself competitive in every at bat, but has to really work to keep pitches in the zone at times. Has bouts of wildness when he doesn't rotate enough and finish forward over that front leg. Can take some off his FB to get there and use his glove-side, but really prefers to work armside and let his slider break into the other side of the plate when he needs to get there. Seems to understand enough of what he needs to do and has an idea of how to remedy things. Feel comfortable projecting eventual average control.
Dennis Santana has an awful lot to like about him in the right situation. He doesn't show nearly as much effectiveness to LHH but has just enough command that you could see him being able to go through 2 RHH and 1 LHH in an inning if you needed it. Santana brings an arsenal and delivery that is a cross between Andrew Triggs and Sergio Romo. Santana shows RH an unusual combination of fastballs low and in with sliders up/middle and away, but it works for him. While the command is difficult to maintain over the course of starter's innings, Santana showed enough prowess at correcting himself in this appearance to see some consistency in a relief profile. I see Santana having a lot of value in a ML bullpen as a RH specialist who works different than most with the FB low and the breaking ball up. I'm not sure the CHG will get there, but Santana shows plenty of value as someone who can be used in high leverage or a 2 inning capacity vs the right lineup. Role 4 reliever that gives a bullpen a completely unique look to throw at a batter.
Role 4 (Reliever)