Indians Trade Blake, Acquire Two Prospects
Santana, 22, has spent the entire 2008 season with the Inland Empire 66ers of the A California League. The switch-hitting catcher is batting .323 (113-350) with 88 runs scored, 34 doubles, 4 triples, 14HR and 96 RBI in 99 games so far this season. He currently leads the California League in RBI (96), on-base percentage (.431) and runs scored (88), is 2nd in doubles (34), 3rd in extra-base hits (52), 4th in slugging percentage (.563) and 6th in batting average (.323). In the 2nd half of play, which began on June 26, he is hitting .393 (42-107) w/9 2B, 6HR & 30RBI in 28 games (30BB, 20K, 1.167OPS).
Santana, who was named to the California League mid-season All-Star team, was originally signed by the Dodgers in 2004 out of the Dominican Republic as a third baseman/ outfielder and he is in just his second full season of catching. His 96 RBI this year are 9 more than any other player in ALL of Minor League Baseball while his 88 runs scored also lead the minors (his 34 doubles are tied for 6th in MiLB). The disciplined hitter has 10 more walks (69) than strikeouts (59) at Inland Empire and has an on-base+ slugging % (OPS) of .993. He will report to A Kinston in the coming days.
Meloan, 24, was the Dodgers 5th round selection out of the University of Arizona in the 2005 MLB First-Year Player Draft. The 6-3, 225 pound right-hander made his Major League debut with the Dodgers just last season, appearing in 5 games in September (7.1IP, 8H, 9R/ER, 8BB, 7K). He began 2007 at AA Jacksonville where he went 5-2 with 19 saves and a 2.18 ERA (45.1IP, 24H, 11ER, 18BB, 70K, .155avg against) in 35 appearances out of the bullpen while being named to the Southern League All-Star team and top reliever in the SL by Baseball America. He was later promoted to AAA Las Vegas where he went 2-0 w/a 1.69 ERA (21.1IP, 12H, 4ER, 9BB, 21K, .158avg against) in 14 appearances before his call-up by LA. Prior to the 2008 season, he was named the 8th best prospect in the Dodgers organization by Baseball America.
He was converted by the Dodgers to a starting pitcher this season and has spent the entire campaign with the AAA Las Vegas 51’s, going 5-10 with a 4.97 ERA (105.0IP, 119H, 72R/58ER, 60BB, 99K) in 21 games/20 starts this season. His option has been transferred to AAA Buffalo and he will again be converted back to a relief role. In his minor league career he has allowed 212 hits in 262.2 innings of work with 335 strikeouts (11.5 SO per 9.0IP, 3.43ERA).