Santander voted Most Valuable Oriole for 2020 -

Rich Dubroff

Santander voted Most Valuable Oriole for 2020

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

Rightfielder Anthony Santander, who was having an outstanding season before an oblique injury ended it on September 4th, was voted Most Valuable Oriole for 2020, the team announced Friday.

The award is voted on by members of the media who cover the Orioles.

Santander, 26, played in each of the Orioles’ first 37 games, the only player to do so before being injured in the first game of a doubleheader against the New York Yankees.

The switch-hitter, who was chosen in the December 2017 Rule 5 draft from Cleveland, hit .261 with 11 home runs and 32 RBIs. The 11 home runs were leading the team until Renato Núñez hit his 12 on Tuesday night. Santander’s RBI total still leads the team.

Santander had an 18-game hitting streak from August 5-23, the longest by an Oriole since Nick Markakis in 2014, and had RBIs in eight straight games from August 6-14, the longest by an Oriole since Jonathan Schoop in 2017.

“It’s such an honor to receive this award,” Santander said in a video conference call. “I’m very thankful for those who voted for me, that took me into consideration. I think it’s part of our big competition among everybody.”

At the time of his injury, Santander was leading the American League with 25 extra-base hits.

Santander also played well in right field and had four assists.

“It’s definitely been a long road. It’s been a long journey,” Santander said. “I’m very thankful for this opportunity. I’m very happy for this award. It’s amazing to be here and really know the results I’ve been getting after so much work, after so many sacrifices, it’s all been worth it.”


Manager Brandon Hyde said the club has missed Santander.

“Big void him not being in the lineup these past 20-plus games,” Hyde said. “Big-time run producer, great at-bats, loves to play, a gamer, drives the ball out of the ballpark, gets huge hits for us, plays a really good right field. Love watching him play.

“Well deserved of the award just because he was having a Silver Slugger, All-Star-type of season. Looking forward to him getting healthy and being with us next spring.”

Santander struck out 86 times in 93 games in 2019. This year, he struck out 25 times in 37 games.

“I think it’s part of the hard work you put in,” Santander said. “Usually power hitters tend to strike out a lot, so whenever I’m behind in the count, or if I have two strikes, I try to simplify my approach and not try to do too much, just try to take advantage to what’s given to me and just go with the pitch.”

Santander won’t be returning to his native Venezuela for the foreseeable future because of the pandemic and will prepare for 2021 in south Florida. He said his oblique is improving.

“It definitely feels so much better now,” he said. “Just continue to follow my treatment so that I can be ready for next season.”

Another leading candidate, shortstop José Iglesias, also has played in only 37 games because of injuries. Iglesias, who was on the 10-day injured list because of a nagging quadriceps muscle injury, also missed three games after his left wrist was bruised when he was hit by a pitch in Saturday night’s game against Tampa Bay.

Iglesias is hitting .372 with two home runs and 22 RBIs.

Others who received votes were Núñez, Rio Ruiz, Hanser Alberto, Ryan Mountcastle, Cedric Mullins, Tanner Scott, Pedro Severino and César Valdez.

The Orioles do not disclose vote totals or the second- and third-place finishers. Voters are asked to choose their top three candidates.

I voted for Santander, Iglesias and Scott.

Notes: John Means will start Saturday night against the Blue Jays, and Keegan Akin will start the final game on Sunday. Hyde said that no one from the bullpen has been shut down … Nunez, who has a sore knee, should play this weekend.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. CalsPals

    September 25, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    Congrats to Santander, what a crazy year…go O’s…

  2. Bancells Moustache

    September 25, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    Well deserved for a guy that many wondered would even be an everyday player after his rule 5 stint a few years back. Santander and Mountcastle look like legitimate building blocks, with the winner of the Hays/Mullins knife fight for CF also a possibility. Now it’s time to get the infield trending upwards as well, as none of the incumbents playing on the dirt look like future contributors, save for Mancini. Really intrigued with Henderson, since I believe his stint in Bowie with higher level players can get him further ahead of the curve than toiling in rookie ball. We’ll see how it goes. A strong showing against Toronto needs to happen. 4th place or bust boys!

    • Behemoth

      September 25, 2020 at 1:54 pm

      Sounds like a fair assessment. With Henderson, Westburg, Servideo, and Vavra in the lower minors we have some intriguing names to track, but there’s little infield help coming in the next year or two unless you’re a believer in Rylan Bannon.

  3. Earl Weevir

    September 25, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    My Top 3 MVP’s:
    1. Castro
    2. Santander
    3. Mullins

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      September 25, 2020 at 1:54 pm


  4. Boog Robinson Robinson

    September 25, 2020 at 1:48 pm

    A the risk of sounding like I’m tooting my own horn I feel vindicated with this one. (OK…I AM tooting)

    I know that when Rich queried us a few weeks ago (or longer?) most of us, including myself, said that the award had to go to someone who would play more games than Tony. But after Severino’s collapse, and considering the teams fade from glory more or less coincided with Santander’s injury, who else was there? The boy Genius’ penchant for tanking cost Mountcastle any consideration with his late season callup, and it took a do-over to get Cedric the Centerfielder going. If Iglesias had been able to play sitting in a wheelchair I would have been all in on him. But alas, there really was no other choice for the award. Santander is definitely deserving.

    I’ve seen this guy coming since 2017. He’s a star in the making. Now if only Sisco could get his butt in gear?!?

    • Bancells Moustache

      September 25, 2020 at 4:23 pm

      As much as I hate to admit it about the service-time game Elias played, the fact that we get Ryan Mountcastle for another year in his prime 6 years from now does not bother me a whole lot anymore.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        September 25, 2020 at 5:27 pm

        And by not playing those games with the likes of Guerrero Jr, Bichette, Bigio, Tellez and Pearson … Toronto finds itself in the playoffs with a very real chance to win a Covid World Series ring. Imagine … a world series victory for Buffalo!

        But you’re right, what’s in the past is in the past and we have him for one extra year. I sincerely hope that Mr. Cheaterpants works his magic here some day, despite the scruples factor. Ummmm …that is of course … without the trash cans.

        • Bancells Moustache

          September 25, 2020 at 5:34 pm

          Let’s be honest with ourselves here Boog, even had they gotten into the playoffs they would have run into the buzzsaw that is Oakland, Minnesota, Chicago, Tampa and New York. They’d have gotten to sell “Always October” hooded sweatshirts but that’s about it. Plus, Mountcastle was very much on the team when they performed their recent excretion in their trousers.

          • Boog Robinson Robinson

            September 25, 2020 at 6:58 pm

            You as usual … are more than likely … correct.

            You are always the voice of reason Mr. Moustache. I am your counterpart. I have no room for reason in my world. That’s my story and I sticking to it. 🙂

    • ClayDal

      September 25, 2020 at 5:51 pm

      Boog , you mentioned the Blue Jays. They did the same thing with manipulating service time as the Orioles. Vlad Jr was called up April 26, 2019. Bichette July 29,2019 and Biggio May 24,2019. So delaying bringing up a player isn’t uncommon. And as far as Mountcastle the Orioles record with him is 12-20. They were 12-13 without him. So waiting for him had no effect on the season.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        September 25, 2020 at 7:29 pm

        No it’s not uncommon. But look closer …

        Considering Mountcastle spent 5+ years in the minors, while none of those Blue Jays you mentioned played more than 3, there’s a big difference in “the delay”. If he had been a Blue Jay, Ryan would have been called up in ’19 along with those guys … not halfway through a 60 game season this year. BIG Difference in the way the Blue Jays handled those boys. The point is the baby Blue Jays all got their 2019 rookie season under their belts, with much less minor league experience than Mountcastle has, and are carrying their team into the MLB playoffs in 2020. That my friend, is undeniable.

        One more thing, Santander was not playing for much of that 12-20 stretch.

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          September 25, 2020 at 7:36 pm

          Actually, if Mountcastle had been a Blue Jay … he would have been called up on ’18 using their formula.

    • dlgruber1

      September 25, 2020 at 6:17 pm

      The record for the O’s with Mountcastle as opposed to without him is a bit skewed. He played the majority of his games after Santander was injured. I’m looking really forward to having both of them, most likely batting back to back, for all next season.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        September 25, 2020 at 7:34 pm

        Yeah … what DLG says!

    • Earl Weevir

      September 25, 2020 at 6:54 pm

      Once I hear Boooooggggg- talking about somebody queried, I know this guy is way too into the detail crap of baseball?! Let’s keep it simple gentlemen.

  5. dlgruber1

    September 25, 2020 at 3:22 pm

    I want to comment on the defense I’m seeing out of Mountcastle. To me he’s looked very good in LF. The catch he made last night near the left field wall in the corner was not an easy play at all yet he sure made it look like it was. The only thing I really haven’t seen is how strong and accurate his arm is. He’s been raking since he arrived and with all the concerns being about his defense I think he’s laid those fears to rest, at least as far as I’ve seen.

    • Earl Weevir

      September 25, 2020 at 6:50 pm

      Jury is still out on Mountcastle. Competition will learn how to pitch him soon?

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        September 25, 2020 at 7:03 pm

        No the jury is in. Mountcastle is the real deal.

    • Earl Weevir

      September 25, 2020 at 7:45 pm

      Don’t hand the kid the keys to the city just yet? Now Mount.- looks like the real deal, feels like the real deal, but has not had Enuff time to show his true colors? We will see over a 162 long?

  6. Earl Weevir

    September 25, 2020 at 6:53 pm

    Can u “experts” on this news/chat site, stop talking about the minors! We regular fans of 40 years, don’t get into minor league details or service times!
    Let’s talk about regular things that regular fans talk about like, can everybody tell me who their favorite two Orioles are in this 2020 season??

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      September 25, 2020 at 7:05 pm

      Adley Rutschman and Greyson Rodriguez were mine.

    • Earl Weevir

      September 25, 2020 at 7:47 pm

      How about major-league level since that’s what you’re watching on TV every day! Two favorite major-league level starters in 2020? My two are Santander, and I love Servino. …. My honorable mention goes to Austin H.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        September 25, 2020 at 8:06 pm

        Why so serious?

    • Earl Weevir

      September 25, 2020 at 7:49 pm

      What I love about Hayes is he doesn’t battin’ gloves! Barehanded at bats. What a throwback and amazing really?

  7. Bhoffman1

    September 25, 2020 at 7:22 pm

    6 runs in two innings. There’s a reason why teams waived these guys. I know Elias is looking for a diamond in the ruff but it’s a longshot. Build with the kids and dont waste any money on starting pitching until you can afford a Garrit Cole or a Max Scherer

    • CalsPals

      September 25, 2020 at 7:44 pm

      Gotta agree, pretty ugly…go O’s…

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        September 25, 2020 at 8:08 pm

        Wait a minute … this Ramon Urias looks like the real deal! Rally time!

        And who says Mullins has no power?!!

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      September 25, 2020 at 8:06 pm

      I think I’m about ready to boycott watching them …

    • dlgruber1

      September 26, 2020 at 2:14 am

      Even in defeat I try to find a silver lining and in the game tonite they found themselves trailing 10-0 after 4 and lost 10-5. That’s the type of game they’d have ended up losing something like 16 or 17-1 the last couple years. A loss is a loss but they didn’t give up. I think a lot of that is knowing that even in the last few games these young guys are playing for a job for next season.

  8. Bhoffman1

    September 25, 2020 at 8:18 pm

    Your right Boog , boom
    Boom Mullins 3 HR 9’rbi 690 slugging . I like those numbers along with his speed for a second baseman. Who’s this Mexican guy Urias. Our new MVP. Seriously very disappointed in Sisco. I was really high on him great eye and sweet swing. Unfortunately the sweet
    Swing misses more then it hits the ball. Adley we need you ASAP.

    • Earl Weevir

      September 25, 2020 at 8:55 pm

      Lopez uuuugggghhh! Thanks to our leader Hyde, for taking out Lopez aaaafffftttteeeerrrrrrrrr we give up 7.
      I don’t think I’m crazy when I say this, we should not start John means anymore this season! I do not want to take a chance with any injury involving John? Shut down.

    • Earl Weevir

      September 25, 2020 at 8:56 pm

      I don’t wanna be too silly here, but we could start Valdez tomorrow I want him to three or four? Evaluate some of the more bullpen youth tomorrow?

    • Rob IsraOsFan

      September 26, 2020 at 1:20 am

      Bruce, the main reason Mullins can’t be our next second baseman is because he is a southpaw. The mechanics of throwing out runners at first make it extremely difficult for lefties to play the infield. Think about it…to turn a successful double play Cedric will need to perform the ultimate ballerina pirouette!! Ain’t happening.

  9. Earl Weevir

    September 25, 2020 at 10:10 pm

    Shut down Mr. Means! Don’t take the chance?

  10. Earl Weevir

    September 25, 2020 at 10:45 pm

    The Orioles will always be losers, and finish short of a championship!
    They need a big spending Billionaire. Current ownership sucks….
    Goodbye all, and enjoy your team!?

    • Rob IsraOsFan

      September 26, 2020 at 1:53 am

      Why so much hate and negativity? The real Earl wouldn’t give up on our boys so easily. Well, if this indeed was your last post on this site (I have a hunch it’s not), then I will kinda miss your misused “?” in almost every one of your comments…they were starting to grow on me.

    • CalsPals

      September 26, 2020 at 9:26 am

      Burned out already, eh, don’t think you’ve been here too long…go O’s…

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        September 26, 2020 at 7:16 pm

        I think he was turning into another Scoutmaster Mort.

    • CalsPals

      September 26, 2020 at 7:27 pm

      Has anyone ever seen them together? Hmmm…alias…go O’s…

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        September 27, 2020 at 12:50 pm

        That thought had crossed my mind …

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