The Giants acquired Santos (along with other prospects) in last summer’s Eduardo Nunez trade with the Red Sox. Boston had signed Santos two years prior out of the Dominican Republic, inking the righty to a 275K bonus as a 16-year-old. What was then an athletic, projectable 6’2’’ and 190-pound frame has filled out notably, now looking closer to (roughly) 6’4’’ and 225 pounds.
He has impressive arm-strength, sitting 94-to-96 mph in my May look. The fastball featured consistent angle and got on hitters quickly, and while his arm works well, Santos’ balance and mechanics haven’t caught up to his body after this recent growth spurt. He doesn’t repeat his delivery well and often falls off-line, showing limited present control or command. A sharp slider flashes swing-and-miss depth at 82-to-83 mph. Santos’ third pitch is a change that’s overthrown in the 84-to-86 mph range with little feel. He’s athletic enough to make strides with his command and delivery, and at only 18-years-old, there is time for adjustments to take hold.
San Francisco is wise to keep working Santos in the rotation, hoping that his control/command and third pitch take a step forward. There are big league ingredients abound, and the max ceiling is high in the rotation if you squint hard enough to project significantly across the board. More realistically, this type of profile often winds up in a bullpen role, a leverage-type reliever with two above-average pitches.