Santana hit the ball up the middle at the highest rate of his career in 2019, contributing to his strong campaign at the plate, Joe Noga of Cleveland.com reports. Santana recorded a .364 BABIP when he hit the ball up the middle, helping him to career-best .281 batting average. He remained one of the most shifted against players in 2019, but he credited the change in batted ball profile to a more consistent routine at the plate with the help of an assistant within the organization, Victor Rodriguez. Now entering his age-34 season, it may be difficult for Santana to replicate his 135 wRC+ from last season, though it is encouraging that he purposefully changed his approach at the dish.
Santana is not in the lineup Saturday against the Nationals. Santana is one of many Cleveland regulars to sit the day after the team was eliminated from playoff contention. Jake Bauers gets the nod at first base.
Santana went 3-for-3 with a hit by pitch and a pair of runs scored in Sunday's 10-1 win over the Phillies. Santana was trouble for his former team all game. He singled in the first, singled and scored in the fourth, doubled in the fifth, and was hit by a pitch and scored again in the seventh. The veteran continues to be an entirely different hitter than he was last season in Philadelphia, bouncing back from a year in which he hit .229 with 24 homers to hit .288 with 34 homers this season.
Santana went 2-for-4 with an RBI in Friday's win over the Phillies. Santana came through with an RBI single to left field in the second inning, and the Indians would come away with a 5-2 victory. The 33-year-old slugger has now hit safely in four straight games and sits with 34 home runs and 92 RBI over 152 contests this year for the Indians.
Santana went 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI in Monday's 11-3 win over the White Sox. Santana's solo blast off Jace Fry in the sixth inning pushed the Indians' lead to four and went down as his 32nd home run of the season, leaving him just two shy of matching the career-best total he posted in 2016. The 33-year-old has been a good-power, low-average type for most of his career, but thanks to an elevated BABIP and 44.5 percent hard-hit rate, Santana has emerged as a legitimate four-category standout. He's currently sitting on a .292 average, which is 41 points above his career mark.