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Strong Armed SS Turns Pitcher

Missed "Dave Stieb" Type Opportunity

Sergio Santos appears to have made the White Sox staff out of the bullpen according to a Phoenix newspaper. Santos, a converted shortstop who's pitching well for the White Sox, was out of options. He throws in the high 90s and has an excellent corkscrew changeup, according to pitching coach Don Cooper. White Sox farm director Buddy Bell gave him the chance to become a pitcher a year ago after he didn't hit enough to play shortstop. He still had the bug to hit and was traded to the Giants last spring, but after he didn't make it there as a shortstop either, he returned to the White Sox.

Santos was with he Blue Jays for a couple of years after being acquired by the Diamondbacks who drafted him in the first round of the 2002 draft. Blessed with a strong arm and some power for a SS (he hit 20 homers in 2007 at AA New Hampshire) he appeared to be on track for a major league career, however, he was never able to hit for average.

For those of you who remember, Dave Stieb was drafted as a weak hitting outfielder in 1978 who had a great arm and was convinced by Jays brass that his future in the majors was as a pitcher and not a hitter. Within a year and a half he was with the Jays to stay and turned out to be one of our best players ever. It's too bad the Jays management couldn't have remembered that lesson with Santos, or perhaps they suggested it but were unable to convince him he couldn't hit enough to make it as a SS.

Whether the Jays or Santos ever considered this during his stay with the organization is not clear, but it is a good lesson to be remembered for future. Remember, Casey Kelly was a 2 way player drafted by the Red Sox with the idea in their mind that he would pitch rather than play short. Could this be the fate of Justin Jackson or Kevin Ahrens?

William Bruyea

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