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How is the experiment going?

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This winter the Dodgers took two positional  prospects ala Russell Martin and decided to make them catchers. Lucas May was sent to High A and Carlos Santana to Low A.

Lucas May started the season with a bang and hit 8 home runs with a plus 1000 OPS in April. He fell into a funk in May & June but has since rebounded with a strong July in the power department. He now has 20 home runs and was a California League Mid All-Star selection.  His 20 home runs would put him tied for 4th in the league and leads all catchers.  The 22 year old and former 8th round pick has upped his prospect status and is now on the radar screen. Keep in mind this is the California League where home runs are a dime a dozen but his power display is still promising.

Talk about turning it around. One of my favorite sleeper prospects headed into this year was Carlos Santana who had shown good patience and power as an outfielder/3rd baseman.  Things went very badly for Santana as he was unable to adjust to the cold weather of the Midwest League and then just couldn't get untracked. After 3 months he was unable to post an OPS higher then 525 in any one month. As the weather warmed so did his bat and as we near the end of July, he sports a 982 OPS for the month. The scouting reports on him were that he had a gun for an arm when he was playing 3rd base so I'm anxious to see how that is translating to behind the plate. Earlier this year Carlos Santana was probably the biggest disappointment for me regarding our prospects so this hot streak has brought a sparkle back into my eye when I talk about him.

Given that the Dodgers had  zero depth in the minor leagues at the backstop position as the 2006 season ended this looks like a great idea. Identify players who have what they are looking for in a backstop and see if they can make the transition. In the Dodgers case they may have created two major league catchers. What the ceiling is for either will only be determined by time and how will the defensive side of the experiment is doing. I'll check back at the end of the year and hopefully by then we can get a read on how they are doing defensively.