Cristian Santana, 1B/3B, Los Angeles Dodgers
This one is less likely of a pick on the Giants end. Santana is an intriguing prospect just because he smashed 24 homers in the CAL-League last year, and he’s 21 years old. This one would be fun because they really don’t have another corner infielder in the system that’s even remotely close to making it to the big leagues.
Santana has a really strong arm at third, with a 60 grade. The big question is, whether or not the Giants would believe in him enough to take him on the squad instead of Pablo Sandoval. The answer there is very likely a no. He hasn’t played above the A+ level yet and he still has massive strike-out issues. Calling him in to play/learn at the big league level over Pablo would be the equivalent of Dumping Brandon Belt in 2016 for Chris Shaw.
So why did we bring it up? Because honestly, who knows what Zaidi wants to do. He was around the farm system when Santana was there. He’s also played at all four positions in the infield for the Dodgers, as his arm and footwork speed allow him to play almost anywhere. A power bat that has the ability to provide some major pop? Sign me up…if he had at least had a year under his belt at AA. Honestly, that’s probably why he didn’t get protected.
So while Santana is a legitimate prospect, the Giants likely won’t take him because they’d be forced to play a guy who hasn’t played above the CAL-League. Not a good idea unless Zaidi is going to burn the whole thing down and rebuild from scratch.