June 6, 2009

Ramon Santana All-Star Snub?

When the Midwest League All-Star rosters were announced yesterday, I was expecting to see a few Snappers. Despite hoisting a league-worse 18-35 record, the team does feature a few really good players some of which are having exceptional seasons.

As I looked at the list, the only Snappers player I saw was Joe Testa. The 23-year-old left-hander signed as a non-drafted free agent prior to the 2008 season after a four-year career at Wagner College. This is his first go-around in the Midwest League and is impressing people with his repertoire of five pitches. He throws his fastball in the low 90's but has kept hitters off-balance with a good change-up, curveball, slider and cutter. He has posted a 1.07 ground ball to flyball ratio and has only given up 19 hits on the season for a .151 average against. Having already had his cup of coffee in the Florida State League last summer, he'll likely be back there after playing in this All-Star game.

But theres's one player that stands out to me that I thought was a sure-fire All-Star selection. Ramon Santana is hitting .355/.431/.570 with 15 extra-base hits on the season. Although none of those statistics are league leading, his 1.001 OPS would be. The only thing holding Santana back is that he's a handful of at-bats away from qualifying for the league batting title. He missed a couple weeks with a left ankle sprain at the end of April/early May and for that reason may not be qualified to make the roster.

If that's the case, I understand, but really can't say that I agree with it. He's currently just a handful of at-bats away from qualifying and should be qualified by the time of the game. Obviously the voters can't take that into effect, since he could miss time between now and then, but that's the only conceivable reasoning I could come up with that Santana isn't an All-Star.

Photo courtesy of Nathan Bortz of Border Ball