Last season Debby Santana jumped onto the scene in the Dominican Summer League. The then 16-year-old infielder hit an impressive .302/.356/.448 with 17 doubles, a triple, and he had two homers. To put those numbers into perspective, the DSL average line was .241/.336/.326. Santana had an OPS 141 points higher than the league average despite being one of the youngest players in the league.
With that performance the Cincinnati Reds brought the now 17-year-old stateside. Debby Santana has spent the entire year in Goodyear playing for the Arizona League Reds. Things got out to a slow start for the teenager this season. He hit .204/.237/.327 in the first 30 games of the season with five walks and 33 strikeouts. That span lasted 118 plate appearances.
Debby Santana has gotten out to a strong start in August. He’s gone to the plate 26 times and has struck out just once. He’s also walked three times in that span while hitting .391/.462/.826. Last night helped push that line up as he went 3-4 with a double. On the season he’s hitting .239/.277/.418 in the Arizona Rookie League.
The average and on-base percentage aren’t great, but Debby Santana’s isolated power of 179 is very strong. It’s the third best among players under the age of 18 in the league (only one player is listed as a 16-year-old – the Cubs Reivaj Garcia). Santana’s five home runs are best among that group. Only four of the 28 players under 18 in the league have more than one home run. Power has been his calling card since he began play in 2017. If he’s starting to make adjustments with the strikezone like he’s shown in early August things could begin to get very interesting on the offensive side of the ball for him.
Alejo Lopez keeps hitting for Dayton
All that Alejo Lopez has done since he was drafted in 2015 is hit. The now 22-year-old hit .419 in the Arizona League in 2015 (just 12 games). In 2016 and 2017 he spent his seasons in Billings where he hit .287. At both stops in rookie ball he had more walks than he had strikeouts. His 2018 season didn’t begin until June 15th when he joined the Dayton Dragons. In the 10 games that month he hit .278. Since then he’s been on fire for the Dragons. In 35 games he’s gone 43 for 125, good for an average of .344. His on-base percentage in that span is .388 and he’s slugging .424 thanks to eight doubles and a triple. Lopez, a switch hitter, is now hitting .329 on the season for the Dragons. As a right handed hitter he’s hitting .306. As a lefty he’s batting .380.