Note: This page is for major league outfielder Domingo Santana; for others with the same name, click here,
Domingo Alberto Santana
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 5", Weight 225 lb.
Outfielder Domingo Santana reached the major leagues for the first time in 2014.
He was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies as a 16-year-old in 2009; the scout was Sal Agostinelli; Koby Perez was also instrumental in his signing. He made his pro debut that summer with the GCL Phillies, hitting .288/.388/.508 with 6 home runs in 37 games, bypassing the Dominican Summer League completely, unusual for such a young player. He tied for third in the Gulf Coast League in dingers and would have been second to Brett Newsome in slugging percentage had he qualified. Baseball America named him the league's 10th-best prospect, 4th among outfielders behind Kelvin De Leon, Reymond Fuentes and Destin Hood. In 2010, he opened with a full-season A club, the Lakewood BlueClaws, but was awful (.182/.322/.297, 76 K in 165 AB) and got demoted to the Williamsport Crosscutters (.237/.336/.366, 73 K in 186 AB). He remained a hot prospect, though; Baseball America pegged him as the 12th-best prospect in the New York-Penn League, between Darrell Ceciliani and Bryce Brentz. He was second in the Phillies chain in whiffs, 9 behind Anthony Hewitt.
He opened 2011 back with Lakewood and was doing better, at .269/.345/.434 with 29 doubles after 96 games (and 120 whiffs in 350 AB). He was then named as the player to be named later in a deal with Josh Zeid, Jarred Cosart and Jonathan Singleton to the Houston Astros for Hunter Pence. He did very well in 17 late-season games for the Lexington Legends after the trade (.382/.447/.662, 5 HR, 21 RBI). For the year, he had 33 doubles and 135 strikeouts. He led the South Atlantic League with 17 times hit by pitch, was 8th in doubles and 9th in strikeouts. Baseball America rated him as the #18 SAL prospect, between Tyler Matzek and Cody Buckel and as the 6th-best Astros prospect.
In 2012, Santana swung a good stick for the Lancaster Jethawks despite opening the year as the California League's youngest prospect. He was named team MVP after hitting .302/.385/.536 with 23 home runs, 87 runs and 97 RBI and also registering 12 assists. He was among the league leaders in slugging (6th, between George Springer and Brad Miller), OBP (10th), OPS (7th), home runs (tied for 9th with Kyle Parker), RBI (7th) and strikeouts (148, 7th). In the Astros chain, he was tied Erik Castro for 5th in runs and hits (138), tied for 8th in doubles (26), tied for 6th in triples (6), was 5th in homers (between Springer and Singleton), ranked third in RBI (behind Castro and Zach Johnson) and was second to Brad Snyder in both slugging and OPS. Baseball America continued to sing his praises, putting him down as the Cal League's #14 prospect (between David Holmberg and Leon Landry) and #11 in the Houston system.
Santana made his major league debut with the Astros on July 1, 2014 but went back down quickly enough that he could play in the 2014 Futures Game. In fact, he only got into 6 games for Houston, 4 in July and a couple in August, and went 0 for 17. He spent the rest of the year with the AAA Oklahoma City RedHawks, where he hit .296/.384/.474 in 120 games. He hit 27 doubles and 16 homers and drove in 81 runs but got a bit lost in the shuffle because the Astros had hitting prospects coming out of their ears at that point and had a difficult time sorting out who should get an extended look at the major league level.
He was back in AAA at the start of 2015, now with the Fresno Grizzlies as the Astros has switched affiliates over the off-season. He was hitting a sparkling .320/.444/.584 in 56 games, with 13 doubles and 11 homers, when the Astros called him back on June 15th. He faced a familiar problem though, which was how to get into the line-up given the large number of promising young players on the team. In his first game on June 16th, a start in left field, he collected his first big league hit while going 1 for 3 in an 8-5 win over the Colorado Rockies. He then hit his first big league homer as a pinch-hitter on June 18th, going deep off Scott Oberg in the 8th inning, a three-run shot in an 8-4 win over the Rockies. He played 14 games for the Astros, hitting .256 with 2 homers and 8 RBIs, then returned to Fresno. His average there was .320 with 16 homers and 59 RBIs in 75 games when on July 30th, he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers alon with three other prospects, Brett Phillips, Adrian Houser, and Josh Hader, in return for OF Carlos Gomez and P Mike Fiers. The Astros also acquired slot No. 76 in the 2015-16 international pool. He made his Brewers debut on [[August 21]st a memorable one as he homered off Gio Gonzalez in a 10-3 win over the Washington Nationals. He played 38 games for the Brewers, hitting .231 with 6 homers and 18 RBIs.
Heading into the 2016 season, Domingo was identified by the Brewers as one of the cornerstones on which they wanted to build their next good team. To create room for him in the line-up, the team traded starting LF Khris Davis in the off-season and announced that veteran Ryan Braun would switch back to the position, opening the starting right field job for him. He played 77 games that year, hitting .356 with 11 homers and 32 RBIs. He was the most used rightfielder on the team, with 62 games there, although four others also saw significant time at the position: Ramon Flores (49 games); Hernan Perez (36); Kirk Nieuwenhuis (28); and Alex Presley (13). In 2017, there was no sharing however, as he had a breakout season, hitting .278 in 151 games, with 29 doubles, 30 homers and 85 RBIs. He did strike out 178 times, but also drew 73 walks for a solid OBP of .371 and an OPS+ of 126. He seemed set to be a long-time starter for the Brewers at the position, except for the fact that the Florida Marlins decided to proceed with a fire sale after the season, which made RF Christian Yelich available at a bargain-basement price. The Brewers pounced on the opportunity, and also signed CF Lorenzo Cain. They were justified when Yelich won the MVP Award and Cain had an All-Star season, together leading the team to a division title. But that meant that playing time for Domingo became sparse, with just 211 at-bats in 85 games. His production slipped, with a .265 BA, an OBP of .328 and just 5 homers and 20 RBIs. He was used 33 times as a pinch-hitter, never an easy job, especially for a player hitting his prime years. In the postseason, he did not make any starts, but still contributed by going 2 for 8 with a double and 3 RBIs as Milwaukee made it to Game 7 of the NLCS before bowing to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Following the season, on December 21st, he was traded to the Seattle Mariners in return for OF Ben Gamel and minor league P Noah Zavolas. It would now be Gamel who would have to scrounge for playing time.
Santana was the opening day starter in left field as the Mariners opened the 2019 season with a two-game series against the Oakland Athletics at the Tokyo Dome in Japan on March 20-21. In the 3rd inning, he connected for his first career grand slam off Mike Fiers to get off to an excellent start.
- 20-Home Run Seasons: 2 (2017 & 2019)
- 30-Home Run Seasons: 1 (2017)