While Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Hector Santiago has been solid his entire career, he may finally be reaching his peak in his 2nd year with Minnesota.
The Minnesota Twins starting rotation has boasted two solid pitchers so far this season. One goes by the well-known name of Ervin Santana. The other solid starter has flown under the radar a bit, but he’s been great none-the-less: Hector Santiago.
For those of you that aren’t too familiar with Santiago, he is a 29-year old veteran pitching in his 8th season in the MLB. He played 3 years with the Chicago White Sox, 3 with the Los Angeles Angels, and is now in his 2nd stint with the Minnesota Twins.
His career numbers, while not flashy, have been quite solid. He has a career ERA of 3.78 with an average of 7.9 strikeouts per 9 innings. Even with the solid career numbers, 2017 is looking like it may be a breakout season for Hector Santiago.
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Through 7 games as the starting pitcher, Santiago is 4-1 and boasts a very nice 2.76 ERA. While his strikeouts per 9 innings has gone down this year, averaging 6.6 K’s, he has improved his control. He is only averaging 3.4 walks per game, down 0.5 from his career average.
Possibly the most impressive improvement that Santiago has shown though, is how he’s been able to avoid the long ball this year. For his career, he averages surrendering 1.3 home-runs per 9 innings. This season, he is averaging 0.6 home-runs per 9.
Hector Santiago may not have an over-powering arm. He may not be known to strikeout a ton of batters. But one thing he does know how to do is win. He trusts his batters and the fielders behind him to make plays while avoiding letting hitters make great contact with his pitches. That seems like a winning combination to me.
Is Hector Santiago an ace? Probably not. Does everyone in the MLB know and fear his name? Not at all. It doesn’t matter to Santiago, though, nor the Twins’ fans because he produces wins and solid outings. That’s all we can ask for.