Jhonny Santos will enter his sixth season in the Marlins minor league system in 2019.
Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 247 of 286.
Jhonny Yussef Santos is a 6′, 160 lb. outfielder from Puerto Armuelles, Panama, population 20,455. Only one major leaguer has originated from the town, longtime Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Omar Moreno.
Santos was born on October 2nd, 1996, and signed a contract through free agency with the Miami Marlins on July 2nd, 2013 for $355,000. After coming to terms, Santos’ first professional assignment was with the rookie-level DSL Marlins, in the Dominican Summer League in 2014. He ranked second on the team with 65 appearances at the age of 17, and hit .223/.286/.288 with nine doubles, four triples, and no homers with 19 RBI. He stole 10-of-15 bases attempted, and struck out only 11.7 percent of the time.
Santos earned a lateral promotion to the rookie-level, Florida-based GCL Marlins in the Gulf Coast League for the 2015 season. Playing left and center field, Santos slashed .301/.355/.349 in a team-third 53 contests. His 7.9 percent whiff rate was the lowest on the club, and he collected 21 RBI and six stolen bases. Here he is in 2016 while with the Batavia Muckdogs, courtesy of the You Tube page of Adam Hayes.
Santos spent most of his 2016 with the short-season-A Batavia Muckdogs, also taking a cup-of-coffee with the single-A Greensboro Grasshoppers in the South Atlantic League. For Batavia, the then-29th ranked prospect in the Miami Marlins system hit .203/.276/.276 in 52 games, with a pair of homers and nine RBI. Santos’ struck out 20 percent of the time, hardly a remarkable number considering his past two seasons. According to the MLB Pipeline:
"Santos has good contact skills thanks to a compact swing, and he exhibits advanced feel for the strike zone, leading scouts to believe continue to hit for average as he moves through the Minors. With quite a bit of projection remaining, Santos should grow into some power as he develops physically. – MLB Pipeline"
2017 would see Santos split the year more-or-less evenly between Batavia and Greensboro, with 30 and 31 appearances, respectively. Overall, he slashed .238/.291/.322 with a homer, 20 RBI, and 14 stolen bases in 15 attempts. His 16.6 whiff percentage was a little more in line than his mark in 2016.
Santos spent most of the 2018 season with the Grasshoppers, also spending 28 games with the high-A Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League. Between the two levels, he stole 19 bases and got caught seven times. More impressively, perhaps, he mashed a total of eight home runs, well over his career projections.
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As a Grasshopper, Santos hit .268/.342/.426 in 79 games. Overall, he had 22 multi-hit games, including seven instances of a three-hit day. On May 21st, Santos collected a pair of home runs in a 5-3 win over the Kannapolis Intimidators for three RBI, adding a single. He made the SAL mid-season All-Star Team, his first such appointment since joining the system.
Defensively, Santos has collected a .982 fielding percentage in the outfield, with at least 697 innings at each of the three spots. Last year was no exception, as he posted a mark of .981 with seven assists and only four errors in 874 1/3 innings.
Santos has already proved himself at the middle-A level with decent numbers for Greensboro, and is currently rostered at the like-leveled Clinton LumberKings in the Midwest League. Look for him to break camp with the high-A Hammerheads. Longer range projections would see him challenging for a major league spot with the Miami Marlin in 2021.
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