Scottsdale, Arizona —— After an under-the-radar year feeling out a late-inning role in High-A for the Los Angeles Angels, right-handed pitcher Samil De Los Santos is now out at the Arizona Fall League pitching for the Scottsdale Scorpions, and his power arsenal and hard breaking ball are starting to come together in a way that could soon benefit the big league club. I saw De Los Santos about a dozen times while pitching for the Inland Empire 66ers of the California League in 2017, and while he looked better and better as the year wore on even then, he’s sharper now with life on his stuff developed to the point where you can start to envision a future role for him in The Show.
We’ll post a full scouting report on Samil De Los Santos over the winter with a ton of video, tool grades, etc., etc., but I wanted to drop in a few Arizona Fall League videos now just to get you a look at some of his arsenal and pitch life from a couple different angles. Here he is, over two different outings, representing the Los Angeles Angels at the AFL and throwing for the Scottsdale Scorpions in relief — the first video in particular will give you a really good look at his repertoire and raw stuff:
This fall at AFL, just as over the summer at Inland Empire, I’ve had Samil De Los Santos anywhere from 90-95 mph with his fastball, with the occasional ability top out slightly higher at 96 mph but with less consistent command. His slider was an effective pitch to miss bats in the Cal League over the year, and it’s looking slightly sharper still out in Scottsdale now, with legitimate 11-to-5 break and a tight hump. He’ll cast a few and leave them spinning and backing up more often that I’d like at this point, but he’s got some feel for the pitch and could yet develop it into a legit above-average offering. For reference, the 23-year-old finished the regular season in 2017 with 70 strikeouts and a .239 opponents’ batting average over 60.2 innings pitched, so he’s got some deception and life in his arsenal that should continue to develop and he’s having no trouble missing bats as he grows.
Beyond the stuff, Samil De Los Santos has a great backstory that’s exactly the kind of thing that should make you feel good about him as an under-the-radar arm with the Angels: the righty spent five-plus seasons (2011-2016) with the Houston Astros at the beginning of his career, never making it out of rookie ball before he was released at the end of spring training in 2016. He caught on with the Los Angeles Angels ac couple days later, and after a couple years, he’s finally figured out pro ball and has moved steadily up to High-A. He should begin 2018 in Double-A, and as a reliever he could feasibly move quickly to the point where he might even be in the bullpen conversation at the end of next summer if all goes right. Perseverance pays off, at least in this instance.
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