Anthony Santander has been crushing it for the Orioles.
Even in a 60-game season, most figured the Baltimore Orioles would be stuck in the basement of the competitive AL East given their lack of star power both in their rotation and in their lineup. Instead, Baltimore has turned all preseason projections upside-down, as they stand 10-7 and are locked into third place in the division.
One of the reasons Baltimore has been able to tread water has been the standout performance of right fielder Anthony Santander. The Venezuelan drove in three runs as the Orioles finished off a sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies, giving him 19 on the season. That feat placed him firmly behind Aaron Judge in the race for the AL RBI crown.
The Orioles’ offense is performing well, and Santander is a huge reason why.
Santander has been shuffled between Triple-A Norfolk and the major league club over the last few years, and he finally for his shot to play full-time in 2019. In just 93 games, Santander clubbed 20 home runs and drove in 59 runs. While a shocking lack of plate discipline is still making it difficult to really take off in 2020, Santander’s power has been an unexpectedly pleasant development for Baltimore.
The Orioles may not have tons of pitching on their big-league roster, but the presence of Santander, Hanser Alberto, and Renato Nunez has Baltimore eyeing the postseason when most thought they’d be eying the No. 1 overall pick. Even if they don’t make the playoffs, Brandon Hyde has to be pleased with the development of Santander.
The Orioles are still a long way from contention in a 162-game season, as Rutschman and 2020 No. 2 overall pick Heston Kjerstad will need to make the majors before they really take off, but Santander is using this shortened campaign to prove that the Orioles should keep him around for the long haul.