Coming in at No. 8 on
's rankings of the
top Baltimore Orioles prospects
is outfielder Anthony Santander. Here are five things to know about Orioles' 2016 Rule 5 Draft pick.
1. He hails from Venezuela.
With 63 players, Venezuela ranked second in foreign countries represented on Opening Day 25-man rosters last year -- behind only the Dominican Republic.
Santander was signed by the Cleveland Indians organization in 2011 at age 16 for $385,000 and started his professional career batting .305 with an .874 OPS across 43 games in the Rookie League.
He moved on to Single-A Lake County in 2012, but didn't reach High-A ball until 2016.
2. An elbow injury in 2013 slowed his career, but he bounced back in 2016.
An elbow injury forced Santander to miss part of the 2013 and 2014 seasons, but he produced when he returned.
Santander posted a .294 average and 13 home runs in 72 games in 2015, prompting his move to High-A the following season, where he batted .290 with 20 home runs and 95 RBIs.
A .342 average in July 2016 included nine home runs. He finished first in the Carolina League that season in doubles (42) and third in hits (145) and home runs.
3. He is one of the Orioles' numerous Rule 5 Draft choices.
The Orioles claimed Santander in December 2016 despite the fact Santander had just undergone shoulder surgery.
The switch-hitter often exhibits tendencies as a pull-hitter, but scouts view Santander as having power to all fields. Throughout his career -- much like the trend in MLB -- Santander's fly ball rate has increased.
He also has patience at the plate, as he has drawn 126 walks in 363 career minor league games.
4. He didn't begin switch-hitting until 2010.
At Double-A Bowie in 2017, Santander batted .438 as a left-handed hitter (14-for-32) and .278 (5-for-18) from the right side.
In 13 games with the Orioles in 2017, Santander hit .318 (7-for-22) from the left side and .125 (1-for-8) from the right.
5. He plays mostly outfield, but can play first base as well.
In nine games at first base in his professional career, Santander has committed one error.
Scouts have graded the Orioles' eighth-ranked prospect as having average athleticism, as the right-handed thrower has made 17 outfield assists in his minor league career.