Santana signed with the Mets for $200K out of the Dominican Republic in 2016. After spending a year and a half in the DSL, he made his stateside debut with Kingsport (the more advanced of the two Mets Rookie-ball affiliates) in 2018. Following a strong start to his pro career, he was one of the players dealt to the Astros in exchange for J.D. Davis. Surprisingly, the 20-year-old began this season in Double-A, but after struggling early, he was sent to Short-Season Tri-City. For the ValleyCats, Santana is slashing .284/.358/.351 with an impressive K:BB ratio of 18:13 across 43 games.
Listed at 5-foot-8 and 175 pounds, his frame is strong but compact, likely lacking much physical projection. Santana has a unique offensive profile, combining a patient approach with plus contact skills. The 20-year-old showcases his above-average speed by frequently bunting. Despite his lack of size and propensity for small ball, Santana is not simply a slap hitter. He exhibited an ability to turn on pitches and drive them to the pull-side. Santana racks up a ton of walks given an extremely crouched stance that shrinks his strike zone to microscopic proportions—though this is likely to regress somewhat as he faces pitchers with better control higher up the ladder. Despite possessing above average speed, the 20-year-old has yet to use it to swipe a lot of bags. Defensively, he has soft hands and average range at both second and third base, but his arm strength is fringy for the hot corner.
Santana is a bit of a tweener, lacking the offensive upside to be an everyday player and his inability to play shortstop limits his potential as a standard utility infielder. His excellent contact skills and scrappy style of play might still get him to the big leagues in a FV 40 bench role that moves between the keystone and hot corner.