Santana Named Eastern League MVP
“Carlos has had an extremely consistent and productive year, and has not taken for granted that he’s exceptionally talented as a baseball player,” Indians Director of Player Development Ross Atkins said. “He has worked to improve upon what is already good enough to afford him Major League opportunity, and he clearly has the opportunity to be one of the best at what he does.”
Santana has been a force at the plate all season, batting .289 with 21 home runs and 94 RBI while appearing in 127 games. He currently leads the league with a .518 slugging percentage, a .930 OPS, and 89 walks. He ranks second in the league in homers, RBI, and on-base percentage (.412), is third in runs scored (89), and fourth in both extra-base hits (52) and total bases (217). The 23-year-old has also been excellent defensively, throwing out 30% of would-be base stealers to rank fifth in the league in that category.
Santana was the starting catcher for the Southern Division in this year’s Eastern League All-Star game at Trenton, appeared in the prestigious Futures Game as part of Major League All-Star Weekend, and was selected as the catcher for the EL’s season ending All-Star team last week. He has already set a new franchise record for walks in a season (breaking Ken Ramos’ mark of 82 set in 1992), currently ranks fourth on Akron’s single-season list in on-base percentage, and is only three RBI away from tying Wes Hodges’ single-season record of 97 set just last year.
Originally signed as a free agent by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Santana joined the Cleveland organization last summer in the Casey Blake trade. Reading outfielder Michael Taylor finished as the runner-up in the voting for the award, and Connecticut first baseman Brett Pill finished in third place. The award was voted on by Eastern League team managers and coaching staffs, sportswriters, radio and television broadcast personnel and other members of the media.