The Curious Case of Anthony Santander, Part 2

Anthony Santander (photo courtesy of

Today we continue the story of Anthony Santander, outfielder with the Baltimore Orioles. I’ve been watching Santander’s progression since the O’s selected him in the Rule 5 draft on December 8, 2016. Wikipedia sums up a team’s responsibilities once they select a Rule 5 player: (1) the player must remain on the 25-man roster for the entire season following the draft—he may not be optioned/designated to the minors; and (2) the player must be active for at least 90 days (this is to prevent a team from drafting a player and keeping them on the DL; if they do spend time on the DL, the 90 days can be across separate seasons). Thus, once the Orioles selected Santander, they were required to keep him on the roster for an entire season.

This is how it all played out:

  • April 2, 2017: Orioles placed Santander on the 10-day DL with elbow inflammation, retroactive to March 30. (This was expected, as he’d had shoulder surgery after the 2016 season.)
  • June 14, 2017: Transferred from 10-day IL to 60-day DL
  • July 27, 2017: Sent to the AA Bowie Baysox for a rehab assignment (played in 15 games, where he hit .380 with 5 home runs and 14 RBI)
  • August 14, 2017: Sent to the A+ Frederick Keys for a rehab assignment (played in 1 game)
  • August 18, 2017: made his MLB debut with the Orioles (with the team 44 days, through September 30; played in 13 games)
  • March 31 – May 12, 2018: With the Orioles 43 days, appeared in 33 games
  • May 13, 2018: Optioned to the Bowie Baysox

So, yeah, sure, he was on the 25-man roster for the entire year, and he was “active” for almost 90 days (I count 87 – what am I missing?). (A 2018 article in noted that he spent 45 days with the O’s in 2017, so he was required to spend 44 with the O’s in 2018, or he’d have to be returned to the Indians – but that’s only 89 days, so someone still doesn’t know how to count.) Anyway, when Santander was optioned to Bowie, I recall thinking at the time that (a) perhaps they hadn’t given him a fair change with Baltimore, and (b) why hadn’t he spent any time in triple-A? But mostly I was happy he was playing for my favorite team, because he seemed like he had potential.

In 54 games with Bowie in 2018, Santander batted .258 with 5 home runs and 22 RBI. However, on July 24, he was placed on the 7-day DL and in August went to short season-A Aberdeen for a 7-day rehab assignment and then to triple-A Norfolk for another rehab assignment until the end of the minor league season. He spent the off-season in the Venezuelan Winter League once again.

Santander started the 2019 season with the triple-A Norfolk Tides, where he was batting .296 with 8 home runs before he was called up to the Orioles on June 7. He immediately earned the Play of the Week Award for his home run-robbing double play on June 8th. Is he finally about to reach his potential and stay with the Major League club? Or are the Orioles poised to send him back down to Norfolk again? Let’s not forget he’s only 24 years old.

Fast forward to two Sunday’s ago when the 4,000 scouts from the U.K. saw the potential in Santander, just as I had back in 2018. So, has he been given a fair shake? Is he superstar material? Or will the O’s just trade him and break my heart like they always do?

~ baseballrebecca


Santander’s Teams and Stats Summary: 2017-Present

Year Team League Level From To Games Avg.
2017 Bowie Baysox Eastern League AA 7/27/2017 8/13/2017 15 .380
2017 Frederick Keys Carolina League A+ 8/14/2017 8/14/2017 1 .400
2017 Baltimore Orioles American League MLB 8/18/2017 9/30/2017 13 .267
2017 Salt River Rafters Arizona Fall League Fall 10/10/2017 11/14/2017 18 .208
2018 Baltimore Orioles American League MLB 3/31/2018 5/12/2018 33 .198
2018 Bowie Baysox Eastern League AA 5/14/2018 7/18/2018 54 .258
2018 Aberdeen IronBirds New York-Penn League A- 8/15/2018 8/22/2018 7 .286
2018 Norfolk Tides International League AAA 8/24/2018 9/3/2018 11 .182
2018 Tigres de Aragua Venezuelan Winter League FgW 10/13/2018 12/30/2018 53 .251
2019 Norfolk Tides International League AAA 4/4/2019 6/6/2019 50 .296
2019 Baltimore Orioles American League MLB 6/7/2019 Current 48 .259

Table adapted from: