The Baltimore Orioles Anthony Santander has had a hit in 13 consecutive games, but that’s only one of the areas where the right-fielder is making himself known in the AL and NL East.
The Baltimore Orioles Rule-5 pick up is on his way to a batting title as he has spent a few days in first place on the AL RBI list.
The 13-game hit streak doesn’t matter when it comes to batting titles, but his RBI numbers are worth watching. If he keeps hitting home runs, he can keep both numbers going.
Only Fernando Tatis, Jr with the Padres is ahead of him in the entire MLB. And, with players like Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton on the IL, Santander only has a handful of players to stay ahead of, like Nelson Cruz, Mike Trout, and Mookie Betts (no biggie, right?).
Obviously, Santander has a long way to go to set any hitting-streak records, but seeing a Rule-5 player do what he’s doing is inspirational. It’s also notable, because only one AL player has a longer streak in 2020: David Fletcher with the Angels. He’s on a hitting streak that began on July 31.
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Keeping up the RBI numbers and maintaining a hitting streak is not an easy task. After hitting in 15 consecutive games, Charlie Blackmon ended his streak a few days ago. And, Donovan Solano ended his on August 16 after hitting in 17 consecutive games.
Something special is happening with Santander beyond the RBI and hitting streak numbers. He had two home runs against Max Scherzer, then he hit two hits against Hyun Jin Ryu. Then he hit two home runs against Nate Pearson with the Blue Jays. So, Santander has added a second hitting streak to his number: three consecutive games with at least two hits.
Santander is only 25 years old. This break-out season reminds me of a young JD Martinez (another consistent power-hitting right fielder) when he played for the Tigers in 2014. At age 26, Martinez hit .315/.358/.553 with 23 home runs and 76 RBI. Then, the next years he hit even more home runs, upping the power numbers. And, at age 30, he won the RBI title in 2018.
Santander is an exciting player to watch, and his 2020 numbers don’t look like a fluke. He’s got something to prove, and he’s doing it the right way. It’s too bad he doesn’t have a full season or an All-Star Game, because 60 games just won’t be enough for him or for the fans.