Sarah's Take: F. P. Santangelo
When the Los Angeles Dodgers signed F. P. Santangelo to a two-year contract in January, they believed he would help them to strengthen the bench and give them an enthusiastic utility man. The 2000 season was his worst campaign during his five-year major league career. Two hand injuries did not help to improve his effort.
When Santangelo signed with the Dodgers, he was a player with a high on-base percentage. This was not the case in 2000. He had a .322 on-base percentage, a poor on-base percentage for a major leaguer. Despite having a poor on-base percentage, Davey Johnson chose to bat him lead-off when he played. A lead-off hitter should walk more than he strikes out. Nevertheless, Santangelo walked 21 and struck out 33 times. Unlike in the past, he did not try to bunt for a hit often. In 78 games he batted .197 with a home run and nine RBI. No major leaguer should have a batting average below .250. Though he batted .273 in eleven games after the All-Star break, he hit .183 in 67 games before the break. His offensive shortcomings added to the Dodgers’ struggles and did not endear him to fans in Los Angeles.
Santangelo can play almost anywhere on the baseball diamond, except at first base and catching. Though he does not have a great throwing arm and/or good range at anywhere, his fielding skills are adequate for a replacement. In 2000 he played outfield mostly. He committed only one error in the outfield and had no assists. He played seven games at second base and committed an error.
Santangelo had a poor season in 2000. To his credit, he never complained and always tried his best to help the Dodgers win. Davey Johnson could have used Santangelo’s skills better. Santangelo should have a better season in 2001. Santangelo can stay in Los Angeles or go without the Dodgers missing him.