Monday, October 23, 2006
NFL "Expert" Picks
Q&A with Danny Santiesteban
Elizabethton Outfield Prospect
Good morning! I am very happy and excited to bring you yet another Q&A of a Twins minor league prospect. At the bottom, I will have several random thoughts, but first, here is the Q&A.
Danny Santiesteban was the Twins 39th round draft choice in 2004 out of Palm Beach Community College. He was a draft-and-follow who signed in May of 2005. He is definitely considered a five-tool outfield prospect. He is probably a few years from being seen with the Minnesota Twins, but he has such a high ceiling, that it is fun to be able to get to talk to him now.
If you would like, you can check out his career numbers here, but let's just get the Q&A started.
Let the Questions Begin!
SethSpeaks: Growing up in Miami, who was your favorite team and who were some of your favorite players?
Danny Santiesteban: It has to be the Braves, and my favorite player is... its a lot, I would have to go with Pete Rose just because of the way he played the game hard.
SethSpeaks: Tell us a little about your high school baseball career. I would imagine Miami is a hot bed for baseball talent!
Danny Santiesteban: Baseball in Miami has its talent, for sure, but in high school I played at Brito Miami Private. As a junior we won the state championship, and my senior we went back, but we lost in the championship game
SethSpeaks: Did you play other sports or participate in other events in high school?
Danny Santiesteban: Well I would have love to, but I love baseball, and I didn't want to get hurt for the baseball season because basketball was before.
SethSpeaks: The Mariners drafted you in the 42nd round in 2003. Did you consider signing at that time? What made you decide to go to college?
Danny Santiesteban: Well I wasn't thinking about signing so I went back to play in college to see if I could go higher.
SethSpeaks: Then the Twins drafted you in the 39th round in 2004. You went back to Palm Beach CC and then signed as a draft-and-follow in 2005 following that college season. Was that your plan all along, to sign after the college season, or did the Twins encourage you to do that?
Danny Santiesteban: Both, I wanted to go back and they wanted me to go back, also because I think those two years of college ball help me mentally as a player, and mature also.
SethSpeaks: Heading into the draft, had you been in contact with the Twins at all? Where were you expecting to be drafted?
Danny Santiesteban: Twins never contacted me. It was a surpris.e I remember having a great game in front of my scout, and that's all, but I had no clue.
SethSpeaks: After a couple of years, what are your thoughts on the Minnesota Twins organization?
Danny Santiesteban: Well, as every player's dream (is to) make it to the big's there is no better team than these guys because they gave me the opportunity to shine, and everyone is always try to help you in every part of the game. This organization is the true meaning of baseball.
SethSpeaks: You are known as a potential 5-tool prospect. Describe yourself as a player. What are your strengths, and likewise, what areas do you feel you would need to most improve upon?
Danny Santiesteban: Well, my defense is one of my strongest, now what I have to improve on is my walk to strikeout.
SethSpeaks: I have had a couple of people tell me that you are incredible with the glove out in CF and have a very strong arm. Do you take a lot of pride in what you do on defense?
Danny Santiesteban: Yes, I do take pride on my defense. Its like Torii Hunter says "I'd rather rob a homerun than hit one any day of the week" but I take pride in everything I do.
SethSpeaks: At Elizabethton, you hit a lot of doubles (14) and six home runs. Do you see yourself as a power hitter, or a line-drive hitter, or can you be both?
Danny Santiesteban: Well it depends. If I fill out, which I would think so, I think I could be a power guy, but for now, I consider myself and gap to gap hitter.
SethSpeaks: Tell us a little about some of the people that have helped you get to this point in your career.
Danny Santiesteban: Well my family, from my parents to my brother and sister. They all have helped me in a lot of ways. Taking me to games, helping me pay for showcases etc.
SethSpeaks: What was your transition like from the amateur ranks to professional baseball? What were the biggest adjustments?
Danny Santiesteban: Well, a lot of people would say getting used to wood, but I hit a lot with wood growing up. I would say the bus rides.
SethSpeaks: To this point, what is the best part about a career in baseball?
Danny Santiesteban: Just being able to play this game. It's the greatest game ever played. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
SethSpeaks: What would you say is the toughest part?
Danny Santiesteban: Bus rides.
SethSpeaks: How do you feel about giving out autographs?
Danny Santiesteban: No problem. I would give anyone an autograph.
SethSpeaks: There was a lot of talent on this year's Elizabethton team. Can you tell us a little about 3 or 4 of your teammates that you think have a shot to be big league stars?
Danny Santiesteban: Well, lots of them do. I would have to say Danny Valencia, Greg Yersich, Danny Hernadez, Danny V. can hit and he's a good defender and has a lot of upside, and Greg is a great catcher. He's young, but he will grow out of it. He can be great and Danny H. He's a great closer with electric stuff.
SethSpeaks: Are there any current major league baseball players that you would say, or have been told, that you play ball like?
Danny Santiesteban: I think I would say Shawn Green. I don't know if I am like him or because he's one of my favorites.
SethSpeaks: Favorite Baseball Movie?
Danny Santiesteban: Mr. Baseball
SethSpeaks: Favorite Baseball Book?
Danny Santiesteban: Clemente - The passion and grace of baseball's last hero
SethSpeaks: What were some of your goals heading into spring training 2006, and how did you feel your season went?
Danny Santiesteban: I wanted to pick up where I left of the year before. It went well in extended, but the season went well, but not like I expected. It could have been better.
SethSpeaks: What are your plans for the offseason?
Danny Santiesteban: Try to get bigger and stronger and work on all parts on my game. Try to get better. You can not stop getting better. There's always more to get better at.
SethSpeaks: Did any of your coaches give you some ideas on things to work on?
Danny Santiesteban: Yea, my hitting coach... to work on trying to stay closed. Sometimes I get to big. And my strength coordinator... to work in the gym, which I love.
SethSpeaks: What do you think it will be like to put on a Major League uniform for the first time in a regular season game?
Danny Santiesteban: It's something that I can't explain. That's the level that everyone wants to get to, and when that day comes, it will be a day of joy and happiness, and tell myself I live for this.
SethSpeaks: Is there anything that you would like Twins fans to know about you?
Danny Santiesteban: There's really nothing exciting to know about me other than that I love to play this, and I play it with passion, and I always play it at my fullest, and I will try not to let them down.
Danny, thank you so much for taking some of your time to answer some questions for me and the readers of this site. Obviously we hope you have a terrific offseason, but also have a great 2007 season in the Twins system.
Do you have any thoughts or questions for Danny Santiesteban or me? If so, please feel free to e-mail me.
If you would like to read any previous Q&A's, I have set up a new page that contains the links to all of them. Click here to see who all has done a Q&A with SethSpeaks.
As you remember, I will be out of town all week, so I don't know how often I will be able to post. But, be sure to check back daily just to see if there is anything new. Also, if there are any topics you would like to discuss, post some comments and lets get some discussion going. Of course, I also encourage you to check out the other blogs that I have linked to on the left of the screen. There are some great sites, so take this opportunity to check out some new ones. Anyway, here are just a few thoughts from over the weekend.
The World Series is even at a game a piece after the two games in Detroit. The series shifts to St. Louis for three games starting on Tuesday night. Kenny Rogers really has been pitching incredibly in the playoffs. I believe 23 scoreless innings would qualify! Craig Monroe has always been known as a Twins-killer over the years, and he has been. But, he's been very good period, the last few seasons. This year, he has just taken it to a new level.
So, I watched the first three quarters of the Gophers versus NDSU Bison college football game on Saturday afternoon. I know that the Gophers won 10-9 over the Division I-AA Bison, but if you watched it, you know that the Bison absolutely dominated in every aspect of the game. They had about 140 more total yards. They allowed under 100 yards rushing to the Gophers. It's just too bad that they weren't able to pull off the upset. I wish the Gophers' football program well, but it is almost as enjoyable watching them lose. Coach Glen Mason said that they were absolutely "outcoached and outplayed" in the game. He was right. By the way, our good friend Stick & Ball Guy, an NDSU-alum was in attendance and had several great thoughts on the game.
On Friday in Arizona, Matt Tolbert led off and played 2B. He went 1-5. David Winfree played 3B and batted 7th. He went 1-4. On Saturday, Tolbert led off again and went 2-4 with a walk, a double, an RBI and three stolen bases. Matt Moses hit sixth and went 1-3 with his first homer of the Fall season. He had a walk and two strikeouts. Former Twin minor leaguer Adam Harben started and went three innings. He gave up two runs on four hits and three walks. He struck out three. Kevin Cameron was impressive in a three strikeout inning.
Pat Neshek has posted a couple of new articles over on his site. I think they are both very interesting!
Will Young posted a Retrospective on Chip Hale, former Twins pinch hitter.
NFL "Expert" Picks
It was a rough week for our panel again. Looking at our collective picks, we went just 5-7. Things must be crazy because I went 8-4 and because Roger and I picked the same winner tonight, I am assured of a winning week! Here is how we did in Week 7 as well as how our standings look through the Sunday games.
|Kyle Waldrop||Twins Pitching Prospect||5||7||41.7%||70||29||70.7%|
|Will Young||Will's Twins Blog||5||7||41.7%||67||32||67.7%|
|JD Arney||Reds Reporter||5||7||41.7%||66||33||66.7%|
|Stick & Ball Guy||Stick & Ball Guy||6||6||50.0%||66||33||66.7%|
|Bill Ferris||Detroit Tigers Blog||6||6||50.0%||65||34||65.7%|
|Roger Dehring||Several Blogs||7||5||58.3%||65||34||65.7%|
|Mike Brasel||Fantasy FB Guru||6||6||50.0%||65||34||65.7%|
|LaVelle E. Neal III||Mpls Star-Tribune||6||6||50.0%||64||35||64.6%|
|Trevor Born||Twins Junkie||5||7||41.7%||63||36||63.6%|
|Al Bethke||Al's Ramblings||5||7||41.7%||63||36||63.6%|
|Cory Hepola||WENY Sports||5||7||41.7%||62||37||62.6%|
|Seth's Mom's Class||St. Pauls School||5||7||41.7%||61||38||61.6%|
|Kevin Slowey||Twins Pitching Prospect||4||8||33.3%||58||41||58.6%|
That is it for today. Check back throughout the rest of the week to see if there are any more updates to the site. For sure, on Friday we will be back with the NFL "Expert" Picks! By the way, if you have any ideas for the site, people to try to get Q&As from, article concepts or more, please leave some Comments or send me an e-mail. I would appreciate your help. Have a terrific day!
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