The 2012 amateur draft is less than one week away, so between now and then I’m going to highlight some prospects individually rather than lump them together into larger posts.
Erlin Santos | RHP
Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Santos actually signed with the Royals as an international free agent a few years ago but was released after pitching to an 8.10 ERA in 13.1 innings for their Dominican Summer League affiliate in 2010. He enrolled at Western Oklahoma State, which recruits the Caribbean Islands heavily, and is draft-eligible this summer.
Listed at 6-foot-1 and 190 lbs., Santos is a two-pitch guy with a low-90s fastball and a sharp mid-80s slider. He misses bats but is also prone to missing the strike zone despite a simple and compact delivery. Santos is an ace in Division II but profiles best as a reliever in pro ball because he lacks a third pitch and is unable to consistently throw strikes. He’s made it no secret that he wants to get back into professional baseball and should be an easy sign.
Santos is a late-round guy, currently projected to go somewhere in the 8th-12th round. I like him because his present stuff is pretty good and there’s a chance it’ll jump a notch with a move to the bullpen. His control problems aren’t extreme (4.23 BB/9 this spring), so it’s not like it’ll take a miracle for him to pan out. Santos has pretty good stuff and in the late rounds of the draft, there’s not much more you can do than gamble on stuff.