Rankings: Is Jose Abreu the top 1st baseman in the division?

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4. Carlos Santana (Cleveland Indians)

Sep 14, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Cleveland Indians first baseman Carlos Santana (41) at bat against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Debut: June 11, 2010
Age: 28 years old
Team Record (2014): 73-89

A look at last season:

One of the best things about Indians first baseman Carlos Santana is he’s durable, playing in 152 games this past season and in at least 143 games the past four seasons. Santana is averaging 151 games per season.

Last year, his batting average dropped 37 points, but his home run total rose by seven, hitting 27 last season compared to the 20 he hit in ’13. So, maybe that was a fair trade for the Indians?

Santana was part of an Indians team which finished third in the AL Central with an 85-77 record, five games behind the eventual champion Detroit Tigers.

In a continued look at Santana’s ’14 campaign, he led the majors with 113 walks but did strike out 124 times. His on-base percentage dropped 12 points to .365, and his slugging percentage fell to .427 (it was .455 in ’13).

Though Santana was 20 hits worse in ’14 (125) than he was in ’13 (145), he still had serviceable numbers, including 25 doubles.

2015 Baseball Prospectus Projections:
It is no surprise Santana is projected to have an improved season in ’15, with the publication having Santana batting .249 with a .366 OBP and .432 SLG.

In his projected 660 at-bats for the upcoming season, BP has Santana finishing with 30 doubles, one triple and 21 home runs with 79 RBIs and 94 walks. He’s also being projected for 116 strikeouts.

Those aren’t bad numbers compared to last season, but with Santana, what will be interesting to see is if he can get back to where he was in ’13, rather than where he was last year.

They Said It:

This quote is from an article on MLB.com:

"“Carlos is too good a hitter. We could’ve put him in center field and at some point he was going to get hot. He’s a good hitter. I believe that. Now, I do think him being at one position, I do think it helped. But, when he started out, he was so happy to be playing third, so I just think to be fair to everybody, I really don’t think that’s why he didn’t hit at the beginning.” – Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona on Santana in a recent MLB.com article."

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