Friday, March 16, 2012

Carlos Santana (C, Indians)

Carlos Santana (C, Indians)

Last year, Carlos Santana slugged 27 HR, but hit only .239.  Chalk that up to bad luck.  Throughout his pro career, Santana's BABIP (Batting Average of Balls in Play) consistently sat in the .300's.  Last year, it was only .263.  Each player has a relatively consistent BABIP from year to year.  Every now and then, there is an aberration, and it spikes or drops dramatically.  As a result, average rises and falls in lockstep.  This is what happened to Santana last year.  After contact, the ball just seemed to find the fielders.  It happens, and when you see a skewed BABIP, you can be confident that the year in question is not indicative of the player's true performance.  Add to that a very respectable OBP of .351 (despite the low avg) for Santana, and all signs point to a monster year.

You can expect Santana's BABIP to return to his normal .300+ levels this year -- meaning a much higher avg than 2011's .239.  This means we're talking about a potential .280-30 hr-100 rbi kid, who plays Catcher.  And that would make him a legitimate candidate to take over as the best offensive catcher in baseball.

His base autos from 2009 Bowman Chrome are in the $20-25 range, and I'm looking to pick a few up.  When the best player at a position has a Bowman Chrome auto, the results are pretty lucrative:  Pujols, Braun, Kemp, Justin Upton, Mauer, Posey... well, you get the idea.  Their chrome autos are some of the hobby's most sought-after and valuable cards of this era.

I believe Santana's chrome auto has a legitimate chance to double or triple this year, and for only $20, there is practically no downside (if he gets hurt or forgets how to hit, collectors will still value his chrome auto based on potential and it will remain in the $10-20 range).  Low risk, high reward is rare indeed... and when you find it, jump on it.

RECOMMENDATION: STRONG BUY, Medium-term investment

1 comment:

  1. I jumped on Carlos Santana right after Ron Shandler's 2012 forecaster came out..."Elite power that's still getting better. His PX in final four months: 148, 142, 163, 199. Hit rate normalization will
    send BA north, and rookie BA vs. RHers says '11 struggles against them are far from chronic. Even if friendly
    hr/f regresses a bit, there's still an elite bat here. UP: .280-40-120 by 2013

    Makes this one a no brainer. Great post