November 1st, 2011

De Los Santos Earns AFL Honor

At 22-years-old, Miguel De Los Santos entered 2011 as the Ragners’ No. 10 overall prospect. The lefty began last season right here in Frisco despite never pitching above the Low-A level.  It seemed like it might have been a bit of a jump for Miguel, and in the end, that proved to be true.

De Los Santos winding up at Dr Pepper Ballpark (James Garner)

In six Double-A starts last year, “Miggy” went 1-3 with an 8.04 ERA allowing 25 earned runs in 28 innings.  At times, command really plagued him.  In back-to-back April starts, De Los Santos walked five batters in four, and then five innings, respectively.  However, on April 27 against a stacked San Antonio lineup, he pitched seven strong frames and walked only one batter while fanning 10.

His last Double-A start of 2011 came on May 7 against Midland.  Following that performance, Miguel was put on the shelf with a shoulder injury and didn’t pitch again until June 29 when he tossed two innings of relief  for High-A Myrtle Beach.

His numbers with the Pelicans were much better: 6-3, 3.82 ERA with 97 strikeouts to 28 walks.  Carolina League batters hit a mere .195 against De Los Santos, with lefties batting a woeful .093.

Miguel took that momentum into the off-season where he’s currently pitching for the Surprise Saguaros in the prospect driven Arizona Fall Leauge.  As of November 1, the southpaw is 3-0 over six appearances and three starts, and paces all AFL pitchers with 23 strikeouts.

De Los Santos is 12-13, 3.58 in 88 career minor league appearances, 49 starts (James Garner).

A native of  La Romana, Dominican Republic, Miguel went 2-0 in as many starts last week with a 3.00 ERA.  That, plus his 13 strikeouts and two walks over nine innings, were good enough to earn him AFL Pitcher of the Week.

Last Saturday he started and pitched the first five innings of the Arizona Fall League’s first one-hit shutout since 2007. Miguel struck out eight batters in the game, which shares the Fall League single-game high this season.

There’s no doubt Miguel has “swing and miss” stuff, but the obvious challenge for him in Frisco last season was throwing strikes consistently.  It’s great to see that his location has improved since coming off the disabled list in June and that he’s, in some respects, dominating AFL hitters.

I hate trying to guess who the ‘Riders will have on their Opening Day roster (mainly because I’m fairly terrible at it), but I’d have to imagine that Miguel opens 2012 in Frisco.

-AG

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