Finally! Cleveland promotes top prospect Carlos Santana

The Cleveland Indians are apparently satisfied that the Super Two deadline has pass—

Errr, um … wait, no. Let's stick with the company line: Cleveland's front office is apparently now satisfied with the quality of catcher Carlos Santana's(notes) defense.

The Tribe has decided to call up their top prospect, and he's expected to make his major league debut against the Washington Nationals and starter Luis Atilano(notes) on Friday evening. The move was first reported by Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes. (Those guys are dominating the prospect breaking news this year, by the way. I'm just gonna shut down Roto Arcade Deportes. We cannot compete).

If Santana is available in your fantasy league, roster him without delay. We can perhaps argue about his defensive abilities, but no one doubts the 24-year-old's bat. He's hitting .316 for Triple-A Columbus with a 1.044 OPS, 13 homers, 14 doubles, and 51 RBIs. He went 3-for-4 on Thursday, and all three hits went for extra bases. Santana has also walked more often than he's struck out this season (45 BB, 35 Ks), just like he did in 2008 and 2009. He's ready. He's even swiped six bags.

If there's a weakness here, it could be the switch-hitter's performance against left-handed pitchers. Check the 2010 minor league splits. Santana's OPS against lefties is 333 points lower than his performance against righties. He'll face nothing but right-handers in the Nats series, however. (Although one of them is Sunday's starter Stephen Strasburg(notes), and he seems to have unlimited power-ups).

The reason we've recommend adding Santana regardless of your fantasy team's catching situation is that he'll have significant trade value. He'll be an asset to someone in the league, no question. A few weeks ago, I would have rated Santana solidly ahead of Buster Posey(notes) in terms of rest-of-season value, but San Francisco's top prospect earns bonus points for both his recent performance — dude gets two hits every night — and the fact that he's spent the majority of his time at first base. It's always nice to own a catcher-eligible player who doesn't actually play the game's most physically demanding position.

Still, if you're looking strictly for power, Santana is the play. Go get him. Enjoy.

Update: The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Carlos will bat third for the Tribe in his debut. How can a team even pretend that an extended stay at Triple-A is about development, then call up a player and immediately insert him in the most impor—?

Oh, never mind. (Deep breath). He's up. That's enough.


Photo via Getty Images

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