Trading Eduardo Nunez to the Red Sox in July 2017 netted the Giants two potential future big league starters in Shaun Anderson and Santos. Signed for $275,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2015, Santos made his full-season debut at age 19 last year. He made just two starts before going on the injured list for two months with tightness in shoulder, then came back and made six more before getting shut down in mid-July.
When healthy, Santos showcases some of the nastiest stuff in the system. He operates at 92-96 mph and peaks at 98 with heavy sink on his fastball that makes it difficult for batters to lift. His 82-85 mph slider can be a plus pitch as well, though it needs more consistency.
Santos struggles against left-handers, reinforcing the need to develop his changeup. His strike-throwing has improved significantly since he switched organizations, but his command is still a work in progress, understandable given his youth. San Francisco believes his shoulder problems last year were more a matter of learning to prepare for a long season rather than any long-term health concerns.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 55 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45
Though Eduardo Nunez played a role in the Red Sox winning the 2018 World Series, the Giants have no regrets about trading him in July 2017. In return, they received a pair of right-handers who could team up in their rotation of the future in Shaun Anderson and Santos. Signed for $275,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2015, he made a successful jump to full-season ball this year but has been bothered by persistent shoulder problems.
Santos' fastball velocity continues to climb as he matures physically, and he sat at 92-96 mph and touched 98 as an 18-year-old in 2018. His heater comes with heavy sink that makes it difficult to lift, as evidenced by his outstanding home run rate (0.4 per nine innings) and groundout/airout ratio (2.4) in his first three pro seasons. His 82-85 mph slider lacks consistency but shows flashes of becoming a plus offering.
Santos shows some feel for his changeup but it still needs a lot of work to keep left-handers from teeing off on him. His control is improving but his command has a long ways to go. Youth is still very much on his side and San Francisco will be patient with his development.
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 45 | Overall: 45
Though Eduardo Nunez played the best baseball of his career after the Giants shipped him to the Red Sox, the trade could pay huge dividends for San Francisco. Not only did it land Shaun Anderson, a potential No. 3 starter, but also Santos, who has similar upside but is much further away. Signed for $275,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2015, he spent his first two pro seasons in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League.
Santos added about 3 mph to his fastball in 2017, reaching 97 mph and working at 91-94 mph as a 17-year-old. He demonstrates good aptitude for spinning a curveball that shows signs of becoming a plus pitch. His changeup isn't as advanced but he shows some feel for what should be at least an average third offering.
Santos does a good job of using his 6-foot-2 frame to create downhill plane, resulting in a 2.4 groundout/flyout ratio in his first two years as a pro. Though his control and command still require a lot of development, the Giants like how he works with a quick tempo and think he'll figure it out. He made a strong impression during instructional league before making a successful U.S. debut in 2018.