— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) July 1, 2014
It was a flurry of activity for the Astros, which also saw the struggling Jonathan Villar sent to Triple-A. Hernandez should see time in the middle infield with Villar back in the minors, and he was hitting .331 with 8 HR and 6 SB between Double and Triple-A this season. Of course, for his minor league career he is a .274 hitter and he was benefiting from a .341 BABIP despite a 16.2% line drive rate. In other words, there isn’t much to get excited about.
Chapman will fill in to the bullpen and, given the state of things there, could find his way into the later innings and maybe even get a few save opportunities. He’ll have to work his way there, though, so we should continue to monitor the situation.
Santana is the biggest news, however. He was hitting .301 with 13 HR and 5 SB at Triple-A (PCL) prior to his recall. That’s not to say that he’s perfect, as he was benefiting from a .400 BABIP, though he also owned a 22.0% line drive rate (league average was 18.6%). He also has improved his strikeout and walk rates every month:
- April – 29.8% // 7.0%
- May – 27.6% // 11.8%
- June – 25.4% // 13.2%
He’s shown power each of the past two seasons as well (23 and 25 HR), indicating that his numbers are not strictly PCL based. Could he struggle in the average department? Absolutely, and that’s going to limit his appeal. He doesn’t have the ceiling of an Oscar Taveras or a Gregory Polanco, but he also could provide power playing in Houston.
He’s definitely worth adding in most formats given the upside.
Sources – Fangraphs, Minor League Central, Baseball Reference