Padres Minors: Enyel De Los Santos Struggles in Lake Elsinore Debut

Credit: AP Photo

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Credit: AP Photo
Credit: AP Photo

With the completion of the 2016 MLB Draft, the focus returns to the Padres current minor leaguers. One of the most interesting prospects in the Padres system is right hander Enyel De Los Santos, who was acquired last offseason as part of the trade that sent reliever Joaquin Benoit to the Seattle Mariners. The 20-year-old right hander is originally from the Dominican Republic and stands at 6’3’’ and 170 pounds.

After beginning the year with a 2.91 ERA in 52 2/3 innings with the Fort Wayne Tin Caps, De Los Santos earned a call up to High-A Lake Elsinore on Friday. De Los Santos made his first start for the Storm on Saturday night, struggling through the first three innings and only ending up lasting four and 2/3 innings in total for the night, finishing with just 75 pitches. In total, De Los Santos gave up six earned runs and two home runs over those innings while striking out two batters and walking three.

After walking the first batter of the game, De Los Santos gave up a single to the second batter of the game, putting runners at first and third with nobody out. De Los Santos would give up a sacrifice fly, scoring the first run of the game, but he was able to get out of the inning with only that one run of damage. De Los Santos gave up a solo home run in the third to Mike Ahmed, making the scoring 2-0 after two innings of work.

De Los Santos once again got into more trouble in the third inning. After giving up a fourth run following a few hits, De Los Santos gave up another home run to Ahmed, this one a three run shot, making the score 6-1 in favor of the Quakes. De Los Santos would get out of the inning and would pitch a scoreless fourth inning. De Los Santos followed his solid fourth inning by getting the first two outs of the fifth inning before being removed after allowing a baserunner to reach first. In sum, De Los Santos gave up six earned runs on five hits.

All in all it wasn’t as bad of a start for De Los Santos as it looked on paper. There were obviously some issues with location, as evidenced by the two home run balls and the three walks, but De Los Santos did show some flashes of brilliance with his strong secondary offerings. As a 20-year-old there is obviously still a lot of room to grow, making his first start in Lake Elsinore a good learning experience.

Given that Benoit was the player traded in return for De Los Santos, it is clear that De Los Santos was more of a lottery type pickup. The stuff is obviously there, but there is still quite a bit of work to be done before he can become a major league rotation piece. The initial evaluation was that De Los Santos was going to just be a reliever, but so far in the Padres organization he has proven that the starting rotation is still a possibility long term despite his early struggles in Lake Elsinore.

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