This is the second installment of my Unlikely Pairs series. Last week I looked at Mike Trout and Freddie Freeman and their elite offensive production. This week we’ll be aiming a little lower in the draft, and maybe it will be more controversial.
These two players are on opposite ends of the career spectrum. Santana, 25 years old, just put up great numbers in his first full season in the majors. Domingo Santana is a bit of a late bloomer, having spent full seasons in both AA and AAA, both with the Astros, prior to advancing. His AA season was particularly mediocre, as he suffered deep drops in both walk rate and batting average. The following season, age 22 in AAA, his walk rate and batting average both bounced back, but he was only given a total of 18 major league plate appearances. In mid 2015, still in AAA, he was traded to the Brewers as part of the Carlos Gomez/Mike Fiers trade. In 2016, Santana injured his elbow and missed most of the season. So, 2017 was his first real chance in the majors, and he certainly ran with it, hitting 30 homers, stealing 15 bases, and achieving 126 wRC+.
Meanwhile, Shin Soo Choo, 35 years old, enjoyed a bounce back year after an injury plagued 2016 campaign. Choo established himself as a solid and reliable player in 2008, and put up consistent 20 HR, 80 R, 60 RBI seasons from 2008 through 2015 with two exceptions. Read the rest of this entry »