Carlos Santana set career highs in homers, runs, and RBI while tipping his batting average over the league average for the first time in three seasons. His days of playing up the defensive spectrum are done, but he returned to hitting with the power fantasy owners like to see from first basemen. His RBI production dipped as he spent most of his time hitting leadoff, thanks to his abilities to work counts and accept walks (.365 career OBP). Those skills are always going to ensure he hits in the top half of the lineup, and he has been durable, racking up six consecutive seasons of 600 or more plate appearances. While a switch hitter, the power comes from the left side, as 30 of his 34 homers last year were as a lefty and 77 percent of his career homers are as a lefty. As long as prospective owners realize his potential pitfalls -- mainly a batting average that could be on the wrong side of .250 -- he'll deliver, even more so in OBP leagues.
Santana went 3-for-5 with two doubles, two RBI and a run during Thursday's win over Minnesota. While it's been a mediocre start for Santana (.254/.315/.433 slash line), he's gone 9-for-24 with three runs, two doubles, a home run and seven RBI over his past five games. Additionally, leading off hasn't hurt his RBI opportunities and improves his upside to score runs. It's also a boon in daily contests. With a career .364 on-base percentage entering Thursday, Santana has more value in leagues that count OBP.
Santana went 3-for-6 with a double, a homer and four RBI in Saturday's win against the Tigers. Santana launched his second homer of the season in the second inning to give the Indians a 5-0 lead of a game they'd win easily. After collecting just a single hit over his previous 22 at-bats, his performance moved his batting average up 38 points, but it's the homer that likely got his fantasy owners excited, as he's looking to replicate the career-high 34 of them he hit in 2016.
Manager Terry Francona said Santana will start in the outfield against the Diamondbacks over the weekend, Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com reports. With the Indians headed to Arizona over the weekend, where there will be no DH available, manager Terry Francona is going to experiment with Santana in the outfield in an attempt to put forth his top offensive lineup. Santana has only played one game in the outfield in his eight major-league seasons, though he saw time in left field during spring training. His performance in the outfield will be something to monitor moving forward now that he is competing for playing time with Edwin Encarnacion at first base in NL ballparks.
Santana went 2-for-4 with a solo home run, two RBI and a walk in Tuesday's game against Texas. The first baseman started the party by leading off the game with a blast to right field, his first long ball of the year. Rangers starter Martin Perez made the mistake of throwing Santana the same pitch (94 mph fastball) throughout the at-bat, and the slugger made him pay on the fourth delivery. The switch-hitter is now 4-for-8 with nine total bases through the season's first two games.
Santana went 2-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI and a run scored in Monday's 8-5 come-from-behind victory over the Rangers. Hiis high OBP makes Santana an ideal candidate to hit leadoff for the Tribe. The switch-hitter had a career year in 2016 and could put up similar numbers with full health in 2017. He's the perfect corner-infield or utility player, especially in leagues that count his on-base skills.
|vs CHI. WHITE SOX||2/18||.111||0||1||1||5||0|
|vs HOLLAND (CAREER)||7/26||.269||2||0||0||3||4|