Image credit: Carlos Santana (Photo by Orlando Ramirez/Getty Images)
On Thursday afternoon the Brewers acquired Carlos Santana from the Pirates for shortstop prospect Jhonny Severino. Severino ranked No. 28 in the Brewers most recent Top 30 update.
The Brewers were without a suitable full-time option at first base all season and have produced the lowest wRC+ (74) in the league at the position. Milwaukee’s first base production on the season has been an eye sore all over, as it ranks among the bottom five in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
The acquisition of Santana allows the Brewers to fortify their depth chart by adding an experienced veteran switch-hitter with proven on-base skills and power. The Pirates are taking a flier on a power-hitting third base prospect in the complex leagues.
Carlos Santana, 1B
Santana was once a highly touted catching prospect and was a major part of a Guardians squad that made the World Series in 2016. He spent 10 seasons in Cleveland over two tenures and is second in walks in Guardians history and 14th in games played for the organization. While Santana’s peak seasons are behind him, he has incredibly consistent numbers throughout his career. After being an above-average offensive performer over the course of nine seasons, Santana has hovered around league average over the last four years. His on-base skills, ability to avoid strikeouts and above-average power are all still present and Santana recently enjoyed a resurgence in June, hitting .287/.333/.543 with six home runs. Santana will work deep into counts, put the ball in play and occasionally connect for a long home run. He’ll provide the Brewers with a player with on-base skills, power and some veteran leadership.
Jhonny Severino, SS
Formerly a switch-hitter, Severino scraped lefthanded-hitting and now only hits righthanded. He was signed by the Brewers for $1.25 million during the 2022 international signing period. He stopped switch-hitting during the 2022 Dominican Summer League season and saw his offensive performance improve. Severino hit .298/.340/.447 after making the switch and has stuck with righthanded-hitting only since then. Severino was assigned to the Arizona Complex League to begin his 2023 season and showed above-average power, hitting seven extra-base hits over 12 games, slugging .583 with a max exit velocity of 107 mph and an average exit velocity of 88 mph. He’s a fairly aggressive free-swinger and rarely walks. Severino has a loft-heavy righthanded swing with above-average bat speed and a knack for taking good angles to the ball. His hands are loose and quick, allowing him to minimize some of his strikeout risk despite an overzealous approach. He shows solid bat-to-ball skills with a low in-zone whiff rate. Defensively he’s seen time at shortstop and third base this year but is expected to move off of shortstop to third base at some point down the road. Severino has not appeared in a game since June 27.