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Assessing Ervin Santana

Ervin Santana rewarded those who drafted him in the 19th round or picked him up off the waiver wire this season, posting a 3.92 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 169 strikeouts, and 17 wins over 222.6 innings.  It was a far cry from '09, when Santana posted a 5.03 ERA and missed a chunk of the season with an elbow strain.

How should you handle Santana, heading into 2011 drafts?  This wasn't a repeat of his '08 season, when he posted a brilliant 3.49 ERA (3.12 SIERA) and 1.12 WHIP with 214 Ks.  This time Santana had a 4.29 SIERA, 6.83 K/9, 2.95 BB/9, and 1.09 HR/9.  Those are not bad peripherals, but they suggest he belongs at the back end of a mixed league rotation.  Also, he was throwing a 94.4 mph average fastball in '08 and was at 92.5 in '10.

Don't forget that elbow issue, which makes you wonder if he can log anything close to 222.6 innings again.  If you're getting Santana around the 15th round, that works, but don't be too aggressive on him.

We don't have SIERA by month but we do have xFIP, courtesy of FanGraphs.  Santana never had an xFIP below 3.97 in any month, and his strikeout rate dipped below 6.0 in the last two.  Hard to say if that's a trend, but he could fall outside the realm of mixed league usefulness in 2011 if so.

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