2017 REPORT CARDS: DOMINGO SANTANA

We continue on today with our new series slated to run through the next several months of the offseason, taking a look back at each of the 50 players who suited up for the Milwaukee Brewers during the 2017 season.  We’ll recap their 2017 campaign with an eye looking forward to 2018 as well, as we remember an unexpected and exciting 2017 season at Miller Park.

DOMINGO SANTANA – OF

THE NUMBERS:  Santana saw action in 151 or Milwaukee’s 162 games in 2017, batting .278/.371/.505 with 29 doubles and 30 home runs.  He led the team in runs scored with 88, was second in RBI, driving in 85 runs, and finished behind only Travis Shaw (31) and Eric Thames (31) in home runs hit.

SEASON REVIEW:  Squarely in the mix for a starting job heading into the 2017 season, Santana turned in a breakout season that saw him cement himself as the team’s starting right fielder.  He got off to a slow start in April, batting jut .197 for the month, but did manage to belt five home runs, then really took off from there.  He hit .322 in May, .333 in July and .301 in the month of September, finishing the season with an OPS of .875.

A power-hitting corner outfielder with a strong arm, Santana turned into a reliable bat that Craig Counsell could pencil into his starting lineup on a consistent basis.  He was especially lethal during day games, batting .301 with 15 home runs and 42 runs batted in over the course of 56 afternoon contests.  His emergence proved especially valuable for Milwaukee as left fielder Ryan Braun continued to battle through injuries, as Santana was able to provide a steadying power source in the heart of the Brewers’ lineup.

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GAME OF THE YEAR:  Santana gave the Brewers plenty of memorable performances throughout the 2017 season, but some of his best work came late in the season as the playoff pressure mounted.  In a September 3rd contest against Washington, Santana came through in a big way, leading the Brewers to a 7-2 victory over the Nationals at Miller Park.  Batting in the number five spot in the lineup, Santana reached base in all four of his trips to the plate, going 2-for-2 with a pair of walks.  Both of his hits in the game were home runs – his 23rd and 24th of the year – and he knocked in three runs while also scoring three.

OVERALL GRADE:  B+

OUTLOOK FOR 2018:  Outfield is a position of strength for the Brewers heading into the 2018 season, with All-Star Ryan Braun and top prospects Lewis Brinson and Brett Phillips all in the mix, but with the season Santana turned in, he’s got a strong-hold on a starting job for the foreseeable future.  There’s always the potential for moves in the offseason, but as it stands now, Santana should enter the 2018 season as Milwaukee’s starting right fielder.