Scouting Report: OF, Ravel Santana

Santana was signed back in 2008

The New York Yankees signed outfielder Ravel Santana in November of 2008 out of the Dominican Republic. An under the radar International signing at the time, he has already proven to be one of the toolsiest players in the entire Yankees farm system after coming off of a breakout year in the Dominican Summer League this past season.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Ravel Santana
Position: Outfield
DOB: May 1, 1992
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 175
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

He led the DSL Yankees in home runs [10], stolen bases [22], and runs [46] this past season while hitting a robust .322 and drawing 35 walks in just 63 games, this after hitting .243 with five home runs in his debut season back in 2009.

But even beyond his regular season numbers, it's been his performance behind the scenes as well in multiple Instructional League camps that have many believing that he is their top prospect headed to the United States in 2010.

"Santana is a great looking young player," GCL Yankees manager Tommy Slater said. "He's got speed, he has great arm strength, he's got pop in his bat. I know he's played well down there too. He's a very, very impressive young player."

Santana tried out for the Yankees back in 2008 and was part of the same tryout group as highly touted prospect Miguel Sano [who ultimately signed with the Minnesota Twins for $3.15 million in 2009] and was actually more impressive at the time.

An elite defensive player already who not only has both power and speed to his game but the basic foundation to be a high-average hitter as well, team officials believe he is more than just a set of tools.

"Ravel Santana is the real deal," Yankees senior vice president Mark Newman said. "He can run - plus, plus, plus throw - hit, power, a good looking kid.

"He can hit it over the fence, he has a decent understanding of the strike zone for a young kid in that league, and he's working in the weight room and getting strong."

Year

Team

AVG

AB

2B

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

SO

OBP

SLG

2010 DSL Yankees2 .322 199 10 10 38 46 22 35 38 .440 .533
2009 DSL Yankees2 .239 138 6 5 25 27 7 22 35 .361 .391
2009 DSL Yankees1 .207 29 2 0 3 4 1 4 8 .324 .345


Batting and Power. What makes Santana a bit special in comparison to most 'toolsy' Latin American hitters are two rare traits - patience and pitch recognition - at a young age. He's willing to sit on his pitch and to use the entire field with his approach, and he has elite bat speed as well. And despite being a bit on the thinner side, he has above average power now with room to grow into the plus variety as he fills out. His lone negative is his swing can get a little long at times.

Base Running and Speed. Santana already has 30 stolen bases in what equates to a shade less than a full minor league season and what's really scary is he is still learning the nuances of the running game; when to run, reading pitchers' moves, etc. He has plus speed and an aggressiveness on the bases that could make him an elite base stealer once he matures.

Defense. Santana has all of the physical tools to already be considered a Gold Glove caliber defensive player either in centerfield or right field; plus range, good hands, and plus-plus arm strength. Like any young player he still needs more experience but everything is in place to be a real difference-maker with the glove.

Projection. The 18-year old is very unique in that he projects long-term to have the ability to help the organization fill any role they see fit. His plus speed and ability to get on-base could give him special leadoff skills if he continues to develop, but he also has the kind of power potential to possibly hit in the heart of a big league lineup someday too. Physically he looks a bit like former Baltimore Orioles third baseman Melvin Mora, but his unique power-speed combination and wiry build compares him a bit more favorably to former Cincinnati Reds outfielder Reggie Sanders. He still has a long way to go, but he has that kind of upside.

ETA. N/A. Santana has a world of potential but he still has to make his United States debut. He's a shoe-in to be a mainstay in the Gulf Coast League next season.

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