Alex Santos is one of the best prep players from the Northeast this year. Mount St. Michael High in the Bronx hasn’t had a player drafted since Collin Mahoney in 2004 but Santos presents an interesting project for the right team. The last players drafted straight from the program were James Rowson and Sammy Rodriguez in 1994.
Alex Santos 2020 MLB Draft Profile
MLB.com has Santos ranked as the 56th best prospect in this year’s draft class. He is a right-handed pitcher listed as 6’3″, 185-pounds. Santos will attend the University of Maryland if he does not sign with the team that drafts him.
Santos has a three-pitch arsenal featuring a fastball, slider, and changeup. The fastball sits between 90-94 and it lets the high-70s slider work as an above-average offspeed breaking pitch. The changeup is the worst of the three pitches right now but is showing signs of being a plus offering if everything comes together. A couple of years in college could make him an even more attractive prospect if he isn’t drafted or signed.
The prep thrower did not get a chance to throw in 2020 do to the pandemic but he made USA Baseball’s U18 squad and threw well at the 2019 Area Code Games. Santos did not have his best stuff but threw his secondary pitches well enough to survive. His frame and pitch potential are exactly what teams love to see in prep arms. Those factors alone could make him a high selection despite a lack of playing time this year.
Santos is a victim of things he can’t control such as playing time and geography. Northeastern teams are subject to bad weather at the start of their seasons compared to peers in Florida or California among other states. They also have fewer opportunities to play all year long if they wish so scouts have far less exposure to players from that region. The pandemic doesn’t help either since it shut down what would have been an important senior season.
There are also concerns that come with any high school pitcher. It’s one of the most volatile player categories in the draft thanks to injuries and general difficulties of pitching. Santos had risks but much of the concern revolved around external factors rather than issues with his performance.
Very few players of Santos’ height throw a slider as slow as he does or match his repertoire perfectly. One possible projection for Santos is the Pittsburgh Pirates‘ Kyle Crick. Crick is 6’4 and weighs 220-pounds but Santos could fill out to resemble that in a couple of years. The Pirates reliever averaged 95.3 mph on his fastball in 2019 and 81.5 on his slider. He had a rough 2019 with a 4.96 ERA in 49 innings but was excellent in 2018.
That season saw Crick, also a high school draftee, throw 60 1/3 innings with a 2.39 ERA, 65 strikeouts and walk only 23 batters. He represents Santos’ possible floor as a reliever if the high school arm ever converts to the bullpen. His lack of overpowering stuff could push him into that role where he can throw as hard as possible for shorter outings.
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