In a flurry of moves, the Houston Astros have called up power-hitting outfielder Domingo Santana from Triple-A Oklahoma City. The move was made as outfielder Dexter Fowler was put on the 15-day disabled list. Santana is joined by fellow Redhawks infielder Enrique Hernandez and left-handed reliever Kevin Chapman who are replacing recently optioned Jonathan Villar and Jerome Williams, who was designated for assignment.
Santana has been crushing the ball this season at Oklahoma City and the clock was ticking for a call-up with how badly the left fielders were struggling for the Astros. Currently, Santana is hitting .304 and slugging .502 for the Redhawks. He has 13 home runs and 52 RBIs in 319 at-bats. In his 84 games, Santana has walked 40 times this year, which is six less than all of last year, and has an OPS of .885. The 21-year-old right-handed hitting prospect has an intimidating build that stands at 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, while roaming the outfield.
Santana came over from the Philadelphia Phillies in the Hunter Pence trade in 2011. In that trade, the Astros also obtained Jon Singleton, Jarred Cosart and Josh Zeid, who are all now on the major league club. Santana is joining highly-rated prospects George Springer and Singleton, who were both called up this summer to help bolster the Astros lineup.
The Astros have been struggling to get any kind of production out of the left fielders this season. Now that Santana is with the club, he should see all of the playing time in left field. He needs to get his feet wet in the majors while gaining confidence at the same time. Playing time is the only way that is going to happen.
The Astros desperately need Santana’s offense in the lineup, which now looks very intriguing. With Springer, Singleton, Jose Altuve, Matt Dominguez and now Santana in the lineup, the Astros regular lineup will consist of five players under the age of 26 and potentially no one under the age of 30. The Astros are in full swing with their youth movement. If Santana is going to stay in the majors, he is going to need to prove himself while Fowler is on the disabled list.