Rule-5 Pick OF Anthony Santander Impressing at the Plate in Bowie

The Baltimore Orioles chose two players in the MLB portion of the Rule-5 draft last off season and even though outfielder Anthony Santander was the one that was not healthy, they chose to keep him and return Aneury Tavarez. Thus far during his rehab assignment with the AA Bowie Baysox, Santander has been very impressive at the plate.

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Photo: Patrick Cavey

Santander, 22, is out of the Cleveland Indians organization and as I already mentioned, was selected by the Orioles in the MLB Portion of the Rule-5 draft.

What that means is that as long as the player is not on the DL, he must be active on the MLB roster, or be returned to his original team. Santander, thanks to injury, began the season on the DL and on July 27, he was sent to Bowie to begin his rehab assignment, having finally gotten healthy.

Thus far Santander has played 11 games with the Baysox and despite having not played in real games since spring training, he is on fire at the plate.

Through his 11 games, Santander is hitting .417 (15-36) with four home runs, five doubles, 12 RBI and has scored 11 runs. In addition, he has also drawn seven walks while striking out just six times, which is pretty impressive with such a long break from in-game action. He boasts a .512 OBP and a 1.401 OPS as well.

The Orioles selected him because of the high offensive potential he posses, but needed to see that he can actually play in the outfield after offseason surgery and his DL stint. Santander has done just that on his rehab assignment as he has played seven games in the outfield, and even showcased his arm with a rifle of a throw to pickup an outfield assist as well.

It's important to note, for a couple of reasons, that this rehab assignment is the first time Santander has EVER played at the AA level. That's important to note because his 11-game start is that much more impressive, and secondly, this is a guy who will see his rehab assignment end on August 15, so the fact that he is showing he can both play the outfield and have success against AA pitching is important for what the Orioles will decide to do with him.

I love his offensive potential and his swing is one of those that any fan will enjoy watching. With his rehab assignment set to end in less than a week, the Orioles will have a tough decision to make, though their play on the field may be the biggest deciding factor in the whole thing.


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