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Rangers Futures: UTIL Danny Santana

Photo: Klay Kuban/Dallas Sports Fanatic

Rangers Futures: UTIL Danny Santana

Danny Santana
OF/1B/3B
Contract Status: Arbitration Eligible, Free agent in 2022

In January of 2019, GM Jon Daniels took a chance and signed Danny Santana to a one-year contract. After the 2019 season, Santana is arbitration-eligible for the next two seasons until he becomes a free agent in 2022. Santana made his Major League debut in May of 2014. He finished seventh that season in the American League rookie of the year voting (Jose Abreu of the White Sox won the award). Before 2019, Danny’s rookie season with the Twins was by far his best year. Santana hit .319 with 70 runs scored and 40 runs driven in (played 101 games).

2019 Performance: After four not so good seasons, Danny Santana rejuvenated his career with the Rangers. After an injury to Rougned Odor in mid-April, the Rangers called up Danny. He made his Texas Rangers debut on April 14th as a pinch hitter. Chris Woodward inserted Danny in a situation with runners on the corners and one out trailing by two runs against Oakland. Santana became a fan favorite immediately by lining a 1-1 pitch to the gap, tying the contest at one. 

After that moment, Danny’s 2019 flourished to his best season professionally. Santana set career highs in every single offensive category, except batting average, triples, and caught stealing. “The moment never seems to get to him,” Chris Woodward said in mid-July about Santana. “He’s very calm in those moments. It doesn’t seem to faze him.” Danny Santana said that after his rookie season he struggled mentally and that was a significant reason for his decline in Minnesota and Atlanta. “I have to be strong in my head, mentally,” Danny said in early-July.

Outlook: When it comes to Danny Santana the final three to four months, it wasn’t about IF Santana would play, it was about WHERE Santana would play. According to Woody, Danny likes playing all around the field. However, Woody feels that third base isn’t the best fit for Santana due to limited time at the position. The club feels that center field is Danny’s best position, but I expect to see the Rangers give Danny Santana more time at third base. It’ll also be a curious 2020 season with Danny needing to make adjustments with pitchers getting Santana to chase later in the season.

If the Rangers start to falter mid-season and Santana plays as he did in 2019, I do believe the club will use him a potential trade piece. However, don’t expect any aggressiveness during the winter meetings with relation to Danny Santana. I don’t think Danny Santana is the answer at third base for the Rangers. Nonetheless, he’s a coveted utility man that proved strong and continues to be a key piece for the Rangers’ journey to playoff contention.

Credentialed Media Staff Writer covering the Texas Rangers for Dallas Sports Fanatic | 2014 University of North Texas graduate with a Bachelor's in Radio, Television, and Film. My baseball memory bank is dominated by the Texas Rangers with the other 29 franchises sprinkled in. In addition, I enjoy NFL Sunday afternoons and only the first NCAA tournament weekend.

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