Arizona Diamondbacks lose Deyvison De Los Santos in the Rule 5 Draft

The Arizona Diamondbacks lost Deyvison De Los Santos in this year's Rule 5 Draft.

Oct 22, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Deyvison De Los Santos plays
Oct 22, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Deyvison De Los Santos plays / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Diamondbacks only lost one prospect in the Major League phase of this year’s Rule 5 Draft. The player they lost was infielder Deyvison De Los Santos. De Los Santos was taken tenth overall by the Cleveland Guardians. The Diamondbacks may still get De Los Santos back, as the Guards now have to keep him on their active 26-man roster all year.

De Los Santos struggled at Double-A Amarillo this season, batting just .254/.297/.431 with a .324 wOBA, and a wRC+ of 88. The third baseman provided good pop, going yard 20 times in 481 plate appearances and posting an isolated slugging percentage of .177. But he also only walked in 5.2% of his trips to the plate with a subpar 26% strikeout rate.

In De Los Santos’ defense, he opened the year at just 19 years old and didn’t turn 20 until late June. The average age of batters and pitchers in the Texas League is about 24.5 years old. He was also good in the second half of the season, batting .312/.333/.580. His wOBA approached .400 at .394, while his wRC+ came out to 132. But his walk rate was worryingly bat at 2.8% and he still struck out in over a quarter of his plate appearances with a 25.8% K-rate.

De Los Santos has the potential to be a consistent 30 home run hitter in the Major Leagues. But there’s real concern about his hit tool. When he has a walk rate below 3% and a strikeout rate over 25% in the second half of the season, that does not bode well for his future projection. He is a corner infield guy only, however because of his poor running. De Los Santos has an arm that may stick at third base, but his overall fielding prowess may lead to him getting moved to first base long term.

De Los Santos was highly regarded in the Diamondbacks’ system. MLB Pipeline (5th), Baseball America (6th), and FanGraphs (9th) all put him in the D-Backs’ top ten prospects. However, it’s still a slight shock that De Los Santos was selected. He doesn’t turn 21 until June 21st, and his poor plate discipline with first base being his potential long term home doesn’t make him the most desirable prospect of all time. Still, I see where the Guardians are coming from. He had a wRC+ over 130 in the second half of the season at Double-A, and he is a consensus top ten Diamondbacks prospect. 

Again, it’s not certain that De Los Santos stays in Cleveland. In order for them to earn his full contract rights, the Guardians must keep him on their 26-man roster for the entirety of the 2024 season. Eight of the 15 players picked from last year’s Rule 5 draft were returned to their respective former teams last year. We shall see what happens with De Los Santos, but losing a top ten prospect in the Rule 5 draft always hurts, even if he has a low ceiling.