Estarlin De Los Santos
Potential: Backup infielder
2010 outlook: New Britain shortstop
The Twins organization surprised many when they placed Estarlin De Los Santos on the 40 man roster recently. The move was unexpected because De Los Santos has not stayed healthy over the past two years, and has not posted good numbers. In 2008, he only played in 66 games at low-A ball and this year he played in only 70 games, and he's never really put together a great season.
The Twins obviously see something in De Los Santos that they like, and they apparently thought he could be selected in the Rule V draft. I doubt he would have been drafted, and even if he was selected, I don't see how a team could stash him on a big league roster for a whole year.
Here are some positives about De Los Santos. I've heard he has a good glove. The Baseball Cube rates his speed as a 95 out of 100. He did have 7 triples in 262 at-bats this year. For those wondering, his triple slash line was .290/.330/.397 at Fort Myers. Nothing spectacular.
To me, it seems like having the Dominican De Los Santos on the 40 man roster is a waste of a roster space. Trevor Plouffe is a level or two higher than him and has more potential than De Los Santos. Plus the Twins just traded for JJ Hardy, who hopefully will ably man the shortstop position for a few years. And a few levels behind De Los Santos are Jorge Polanco and Miguel Jean. So it will be interesting to see how Estarlin performs this season, but maybe he will show us why the Twins believe in him.