Orioles outfielder Anthony Santander is showing the potential to make an impact at the major-league level.
He has made six consecutive appearances since being recalled from Triple-A Norfolk June 7. During the Orioles' 12-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays June 13, Santander had a career-high-tying three hits and drove in the Orioles' first two runs of the game with RBI singles in the third and fifth innings.
Santander is batting .385 (9-for-24) with a homer and four RBIs. He is also hitting .444 (8-for-18) against right-handed pitching.
Orioles manager Brandon Hyde liked what he saw from Santander throughout spring training and hopes he gets even better with more opportunities.
"I think he's going to have some plate discipline, he's going to be able to drive balls in the middle part of the plate," Hyde said. "He's got bat speed, he can get to a fastball. I like his balanced approach at the plate. So I just think he needs at-bats."
Santander likely played well enough in Sarasota, Fla., to make the Opening Day roster. He batted .333/.389/.697 with six doubles and two home runs during 18 games.
"He had a great spring training and I loved his swing in spring training," Hyde said. "I thought he took great at-bats. Love the fact that he switch-hits, love the defense that he plays. He's athletic for a big guy. He can run. He competes at the plate and I feel like he's going to really improve as he gets more at-bats in the big leagues."
However, the Orioles were in no rush and wanted him to get more experience at the Triple-A level. Santander was solid but not spectacular at Norfolk, batting .263/.316/.421 with 15 doubles, five home runs and 28 RBIs during 47 games (206 plate appearances.) He also struck out 38 times and earned 13 walks.
Still, the Orioles knew they could rely on him after outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. was placed on the concussion injured list. Smith could return to the club during the weekend series (June 14-16) against the Boston Red Sox.
For now, Santander has shown he is capable of producing in Smith's absence.
Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox