Up next in our prospect countdown, we take a big leap of faith, delving into the depths of the Domincan Summer League to unearth Jean Carlos Santiago. Is he really as good as his amazing numbers?
Jean Carlos Santiago
Position: Starting Pitcher Level: DSL
Bats: Left Throws: Left Height: 6'0" Weight: 180 lbs.
Age: 20 Born: January 23, 1991
2011 Season Stats: 4-1, 65.0 IP, 1.38 ERA, 37 H, 0 HR, 18 BB, 82 K, 1.37 GO/AO
There is no information available on the arsenal of Jean Carlos Santiago, however his numbers are the best I’ve ever seen coming out of the Dominican Republic, and he’s left handed. In the past, the Angels generally promoted their prospects a year or two early from the Dominican Republic and they were ill-suited for success in American Baseball. With Santiago the Angels have chosen to take their time and allow him enough opportunity to mature on and off the field before coming to the U.S. If Santiago’s arm matches his insane numbers, he should be able to come to the United States and dominate in similar fashion as he did back home.
(*As always, the above scouting report is provided by Scotty Allen of LA Angels Insider)
Season Summary: Because trying to assess prospects in the Dominican Summer League is like trying to invent cold fusion, the best we can do is just look at stats. Santiago's stats are simply too gaudy to ignore.
He was third in the league in ERA and strikeouts and first in WHIP. That is just complete and utter dominance across the board. And since he was only 20 years old in the 2011 season, he is still plenty young for that dominance to count for something. The 11.35 K/9 rate is awfully impressive, but not exactly out of line for such low levels of the minors. But what we simply couldn't ignore was that he allowed just 37 hits in 65 innings. That means in the rare event that Santiago didn't miss your bat, you likely didn't get good contact either. This was also the third straight season Santiago has put up strong numbers in the DSL, which is great, but it does make one wonder a little bit why he didn't get brought over stateside yet.
What to Expect in 2012: The easy answer here is "who knows what to expect?" There is a chance that Santiago comes over to play A-ball here (which seems highly likely) and then continues to dominate and rockets up the prospect boards. But it is just as likely that he implodes and is never heard from again and I spend the entire year wondering why the hell we included him on our list and at such a high ranking. I wish I could tell you more about what he can and can't do, but we just don't know much about him other than he is on the small side for a starting pitcher, which certainly won't help his projection.