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OKC RedHawks' Domingo Santana has rough trip to majors

After going 0-for-13 with 11 strikeouts with the Astros, outfielder is back in Triple-A trying to cut down on the whiffs.
By Mike Baldwin Published: July 19, 2014

Like a lot of rookies, RedHawks right fielder Domingo Santana was shocked at the amount of information major league pitchers garner from detailed scouting reports.

One of the top prospects in Houston’s organization, Santana went 0-for-13 with 11 strikeouts during a brief call-up with the Astros.

“They have a lot of veterans that have been up there for seven to 10 years,” Santana said. “Veterans know everything about your game. They know how you handle inside pitches, where you like to hit the ball. It’s very competitive. Now I know I need to be a lot smarter the next time I go up.”

Having already slammed 87 home runs before his 22nd birthday, Santana has proven he can have success at the minor league level.

This season with the RedHawks Santana is hitting .294 with 13 home runs and 53 RBIs.

“He just needs some more time,” said RedHawks manager Tony DeFrancesco. “Even when he went up, we knew he had a few flaws in his swing. He had a high strikeout rate here in Triple-A, throughout his whole career.”

Cutting down his strikeout totals is Santana’s top priority. In 2,100 career minor league at-bats, Santana has struck out 725 times, roughly once every three at-bats.

RedHawks hitting coach Leon Roberts is trying to teach Santana how to make consistent contact.

“He has to shorten up his swing, use timed accuracy,” Roberts said. “For the most part everything you do in sports is accuracy based. Whether it’s shooting a basketball, hitting a golf ball or kicking or throwing a football, it’s accuracy based. He just has to get more timed accuracy in his swing.”

So what’s the secret to Santana getting more timed accuracy?

“I can’t tell you that because I’d have to kill you,” Roberts joked. “There are tricks. If you watched the movie ‘The Karate Kid,’ he used tricks. I have things I use to make training more fun, help them understand how to improve.”

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