Scouting Mets Prospect #41: Nick Santomauro

Santomauro is raw but has projectable tools

2009 10th round pick Nick Santomauro came from smaller baseball background as he played his ball in the Ivy League. However, there are early signs that the outfielder will meet the Mets new approach of putting speed and athleticism in the outfield. For now, Santomauro is taking it one step at a time. What are those steps? Check out his scouting report to find out.

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Vital Statistics
Name: Nick Santomauro
DOB: June 13, 1988
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 205
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
Status: 10th Round (2009) – Dartmouth

The Mets new approach to building the outfield can be personified in 2009 10th round pick Nick Santomauro. The Dartmouth product, and other outfielders taken in his draft class, fit the mold of the new outfielder the organization is attempting to develop. Speed, athleticism, and extra-base power are the new characteristics sought to help fill the large, open spaces in Citi Field. With Santomauro, the Mets chose one of many to execute that plan in the years to come.

The results varied during his first season in Brooklyn, but his physical attributes and projection at the plate were enough to show promise according to Cyclones manager Pedro Lopez.

"When he got drafted, that was one of the main reasons he was picked," said Lopez. "He is a real good hitter with a lot of power potential and he's showing that. His biggest asset is his power and I think he's got tremendous power that will continue to develop."

Santomauro, who hit a combined 19 home runs during his two collegiate seasons, dedicated his professional debut to his swing and a professional approach that would help him adapt to next level pitching.

"I have been working really hard on my swing," said Santomauro. "I'm making adjustments to simplify things, and the more and more simple my swing gets, the better I can hit the ball with the better tier pitching. The biggest thing I have learned is to be smarter in how I have been working and preparing my at-bats."

Santomauro got off to a bit of a sluggish start, but come late July he demonstrated some of that budding extra base and home run power. His average leveled off around .237 for his last 40 games, but he swatted all six home runs to tie for the club lead and drove in 18 of his 21 runs. The late surge was credited to his close work with Cyclones hitting coach Jack Voigt according to Lopez.

"He's still got a few things to work on, but he made some big adjustments during the season," said the Brooklyn skipper. "He struggled in the beginning coming out of college ball, but he worked with our hitting coach and that paid off for him at the end because his home run numbers jumped."

It is that kind of growth both coaches and Santomauro hope to see expand when he returns in the spring. Looking ahead, there are not too many drastic changed needed in his game, but rather the 21-year-old outfielder just needs to be coached up while gaining experience on the field and keeping his goals in perspective.

"It was a real good first season, but I know there's a lot more work I have to do," said Santomauro. "There's definitely more to learn and to do, and means I'll have to keep working hard every day I'm out there."

Year

Team

AVG.

AB

Hits

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

K

OBP

SLG

2009

Brooklyn

.241

145

35

6

21

18

1

28

38

.368

.441



Batting and Power: Santomauro's first season at the plate was all about adjustments. When he entered the organization, his hands remained close to his body which would cause him to get tied up by pitches on the inner third. He moved his hands away from his body which gave him better extension and the ability to drive the ball to all fields. He keeps his bat nearly up right and raises the knob during his load, using his back foot as a timing mechanism. At times he would drop his back shoulder which would cause him to drop the bat under the ball and that led to routine pop ups. However, when timed right and he gets proper extension, Santomauro showed the ability to drive the ball with authority. He has an athletic build with room for added muscle which could make him into an even greater power threat as he continues to refine his swing.

Base Running and Speed: Santomauro boasts very good natural athleticism and above average speed. His speed gives him plenty of range in the outfield, but he is not a true speed threat that will steal large numbers of bases. However, his speed is enough that when aggressive he will give defenses something to think about when he gets on base. Understanding situations and added ability to read pitchers will help his timing and execution.

Defense: As mentioned, Santomauro covers plenty of ground in the outfield, but he still has to work on his route running. That will be improved with better reads off the bat and proper angles to the ball. He has average arm strength with a quick enough to release to make plays cleanly but does not have the arm to become a real deterrent. Santomauro played all over the outfield in college, but he lacks the speed to be a true centerfielder and the power arm for right field which makes left field his long term location.

Projection: The 2009 Ivy League Player of the Year is raw and was a bit behind much of the talent he faced in his first season given his level of collegiate play. That makes repetition such a key element to his development. His current slot in the rankings is based and projection and current outfield depth in the organization at this point. He is young and still a bit shaky in the outfield, but when he puts it all together he could be a big league role player who will provide some pop and speed off the bench. He is an unpolished commodity whose projection could change as he gains further exposure to higher levels. His athleticism and power potential offer long term intrigue.

ETA: 2013. Santomauro will make the jump to long-season ball next season. Whether it is Savannah or St. Lucie will be determined at a later date, but we stay conservative and predict that the organization will not rush him and will move him to the South Atlantic League in 2010. If such a move comes true, that should push his arrival to 2013. If he advances right to High-A, it could trim his big league debut to sometime late in the 2012 season.

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