Pirates Adalberto Santos: Trade Chip or Next In-Line ?
By Tom Smith
Adalberto Santos is having a solid season in the Arizona Fall League
The Pittsburgh Pirates have an interesting prospect in Adalberto Santos. The outfielder just keeps hitting. It started in the low minors after the Bucs grabbed him back in 2010 out of Oregon State. The 22nd rounder hasn’t stopped hitting since. The past few weeks he’s continued to rake for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League.
The numbers aren’t eye popping, but they’re nothing to sneeze at, especially considering what some other notable players have done in the prospect heavy league. Santos hasn’t put up better numbers than Robbie Grossmans’ gaudy stats from last Fall, but Santos has hit better than AL Rookie-of-the Year Mike Trout had last year in the AFL. (Sorry, we just read like five articles about Trout’s greatness and needed to find something he didn’t do well)
We think if Santos would have had more playing time, he would have put up similar numbers to what Jose Tabata produced in the AFL. Back in his 2009 AFL campaign, the Buccos outfielder showed insane promise, maybe you forgot, if so here you go.
Nothing indicates Santos will stop hitting. Most of the skill set for a successful big leaguer is there, plate awareness, discipline, speed, and we liked his defense when we saw him in Altoona. The Bronx native could certainly show some more home run power, but that weakness hasn’t exactly slowed a slew of players from making it into the Pirates outfield in recent years.
In the AFL, the right handed hitting Santos has improved upon one of his biggest weaknesses, he has shown a little pop against left-handers.
But perhaps most importantly if the Pirates finally start getting outfield production from the cast of Starling Marte, Travis Snider, and/or Tabata, maybe Santos could be used in a deal like Grossman was this year at the trade deadline.
Grossman had a very solid season in 2011. Then in the AFL, he opened even more eyes….
|Individual Stats (Batting 2011 Arizona Fall League)|
and despite a rough first half in Double-A Altoona this year, Grossman was a key part of the deal that brought Wandy Rodriguez to the Pirates at the deadline.
Santos having success in the AFL might be interesting to other teams in a similar fashion. We think his name might be floted in a deal that would immediately help the Bucs in 2013.
If other teams aren’t interested, it might be a good thing, we think Santos will still be hitting.