Santander chosen as Most Valuable Oriole

Anthony Santander demonstrated his value to the Orioles this summer during his appearances in the lineup and in right field.

He also showed how much he’s missed.

Santander appeared in 37 games before the Orioles shut him down with a strained right oblique muscle, but his overall impact earned him the Louis M. Hatter Most Valuable Oriole award for 2020.

The award is voted upon by members of the media who cover the team on a regular or semi-regular basis. Outfielder Trey Mancini won it in 2019.

Thumbnail image for Anthony-Santander-Drives-White-Sidebar.jpgSantander, who turns 26 next month, slashed .261/.315/.575 with 13 doubles, 11 home runs, 32 RBIs, 24 runs and 10 walks and registered a 1.5 WAR per BaseballReference.com.

The native of Venezuela and former Rule 5 selection didn’t play after Sept. 4 due to his oblique injury. He was 0-for-9 in his last two games after going 4-for-9 with two doubles in the previous two.

Santander hit eight of his 11 home runs and totaled 22 RBIs in 28 games in August.

The switch-hitter was much better from the left side of the plate. He batted .285/.338/.610 with 11 doubles and nine home runs against right-handers and .167/.219/.433 with two doubles and two home runs against left-handers.

The defensive improvements continued this summer, and Santander led Orioles outfielders with four assists.

Santander set a career-high with an 18-game hitting streak from Aug. 5-23, the longest by an Oriole since Nick Markakis in 2014. His hitting streak is tied for the second-longest streak in the majors this season. Santander also recorded an RBI in a career-high eight-straight games from Aug. 6-14 (13 total), the longest by an Oriole since Jonathan Schoop in 2017.

At the time of his injury, Santander was leading the American League in extra-base hits (25), ranked tied for second in doubles (13), third in total bases (88), tied for third in RBI (32), sixth in slugging percentage (.575) and was tied for sixth in home runs (11).

He still leads the Orioles in RBIs, extra-base hits and slugging percentage, ranks second in home runs and total bases, and third in runs scored, doubles and OPS.

The Orioles only announce the winner rather than the order of the top three finishers, but other players who received votes included José Iglesias, Ryan Mountcastle, Tanner Scott, Hanser Alberto, Rio Ruiz, César Valdez, Renato Núñez and Pedro Severino.

Iglesias and Mountcastle also had their seasons shortened - the veteran shortstop by injuries and the rookie outfielder/first baseman by an initial stint at the alternate camp site in Bowie.

Santander also received votes last season, which was cut short by a sore shoulder in September.

Points are awarded on a 5-3-1 basis.

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