After being selected from the Rule 5 draft all the way back in 2016, Anthony Santander has spent his entire major league career with the Baltimore Orioles. He’s had his ups and downs but overall was a rare bright spot in the 2017-2021 lineups.
When 2022 rolled around, the Orioles had an abundance of outfielders who had arrived or who were about to. Austin Hays and Cedric Mullins were in the majors and were making their mark, Mullins especially. Kyle Stowers was knocking on the door and debuted midseason. Colton Cowser wasn’t too far off and maybe, somewhere in our wildest dreams, so was Heston Kjerstad.
That left Santander, a 27-year-old who wasn’t too far from free agency, as an obvious trade chip. We asked in March 2022, via the pre-season contest, if fans believed Santander would be traded. 74% answered yes! Right up until the trade deadline at the end of July, people thought it would happen. It didn’t. It also didn’t happen in the offseason. It seems that Santander is here for the 2022 season.
One of the reasons that fans were looking ahead to a Santander-less outfield is the fact that defensively, he could be better. No matter which stat you choose, it’s not great for Anthony. But there is room at DH for him this year, which could make things better for the team overall.
One thing that Santander did well this year was hit home runs. He led the team with 33 last year, a career high. He’s always had good power with an ISO of over .200 in three of the last four seasons, but 2022 was the first time in his career that he actually had a full season in the majors. Injuries have gotten him in every other year.
Speaking of home runs, the projections mostly like him to hit a good number of them again this season. Will it be enough to lead the team again? That depends on if he stays healthy and if he actually does stay on the team. He could still get traded! Although after watching him hit two monster bombs in the World Baseball Classic, recency bias has me hoping he won’t.
- ZiPS: 589 PA, .256/.317/.473 with 29 HR
- Steamer: 651 PA, .248/.311/.447 with 29 HR (both from FanGraphs)
- Marcel: 567 PA, .244/.307/.444 with 25 HR (from Baseball Reference)
The case for the over
Home runs are the things Santander does best, so that’s what I’ll focus on here. Both ZiPS and Steamer project he’ll hit 29 home runs, which would be four fewer than last season but well beyond his max in any other season. They are also projecting him to have basically a full season’s worth of games. Given his power history, if he hits those marks, 29 homers honestly seem like the minimum he’ll hit.
The case for the under
Do you know how many times in his career Santander has reached 589 plate appearances? Just once. Last year. He’s never hit the Steamer number of 651. He’s had a shoulder injury, an oblique injury, an ankle injury, and a knee injury. His entire body has been injured, basically. It could strike at any time and probably wouldn’t be surprising if it did. That’s all it would take to keep him from reaching that mark.
So what do you think? Will Santander stay healthy for a full season, play good baseball and knock the cover off the ball to the tune of 30+ homers? Or will he struggle with injury as he has in the past, causing him to miss time or be ineffective at the plate?
Will Anthony Santander go over or under his projected Steamer total of 29 home runs?
This poll is closed