Cleveland Indians: Carlos Santana is surging in July

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 24: Carlos Santana
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 24: Carlos Santana /

It took quite a while, but Cleveland Indians 1B/DH Carlos Santana is starting to show the production many have expected from him all season.

Carlos Santana did not had a great first half of the season for the Cleveland Indians. After a career 2016 season, Santana was bumped down in the lineup in order to get him out of the funk that has seen him slash per .238 / .340 / .409 before the all-star break with only 10 home runs.

While he continued to drive in runs (47) and walk a bunch (also 47), the rest of his performance left a lot to be desired. All of that started to change when the calendar flipped to July.

Santana reached his low point in June, with a .219 / .345 / .344 line and a .689 OPS in 27 games. This level of performance caused quite a debate between myself and FoS Site Expert Ryan Rosko, who had advocated for an extension for Santana — much to my frustration.

Maybe Santana reads Factory of Sadness or maybe his coaches do, but he’s hitting in July knowing it’s a contract year.

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How much has Santana “flipped the switch”? The following stats are also via as of Thursday 7/27:

  • .333 average through July 26th, up from .219 in June and 89 points better than his .244 season average.
  • .409 batting average on balls in play, a stat that can be debated, yes. However, the number was highly compared to his .228 mark in June and .253 in July. Thus, indicated he is at least hitting it where the defenses ain’t.
  • Eight doubles, compared to only three in June in 10 fewer games.
  • 21 hits, the same number of total hits in June in 10 fewer games.
  • .994 OPS, more than 300 points higher than the .689 he put up in June.
  • 38 total bases, compared to 33 in June.

Don’t think it’s a big deal? How about the fact that that you can nearly directly tie Santana’s production to Tribe wins. He hits .308 in wins, but a putrid .166 in losses. Santana has 38 RBI in wins, but 15 in losses. His 102 total bases in wins is more than double his 50 total bases in losses.

Santana’s hot July does follow a career trend, where he has historically hit for a higher average and seen his production spike through the dog days of summer. The Indians will need his bat to stay hot in the second half with the Kansas City Royals finding a groove after having the worst record in baseball entering June.

Against Kansas City, Santana has a career line of .301 / .421 / .993 with 25 home runs and 80 RBI in 114 games. When Santana was scuffling, you could at least point to the fact that he was driving in runs.

Next: Indians looking at bullpen help?

Now he is doing far more at the plate and is a huge reason why Cleveland has exploded at the plate since their dreadful California misadventure. For the sake of the rest of the Indians’ season, and Santana’s next potential contract, both parties needs his bat to stay hot.