HOUSTON — Astros general manager Ed Wade announced Monday that the organization acquired minor league outfield prospect Domingo Santana from the Philadelphia Phillies as the player to be named later to complete the trade involving Hunter Pence.
He has been assigned to Class A Lexington.
Santana, 19, hit .269 with seven home runs, 32 RBI and 29 doubles over 350 at-bats in 96 games at Class A Lakewood this season.
The 6-foot-5, 200-pound right-handed hitting Santana rated as the No. 9 prospect in the Phillies’ farm system entering the 2011 season.
He signed with Philly as a non-drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic on March 23, 2009 and hit .288 with six homers and 28 RBI over 37 games that season in the Gulf Coast League.
Houston acquired highly-rated prospects Jonathan Singleton and Jarred Cosart, as well as right-handed reliever Josh Zeid, upon reaching an agreement to trade Pence to the Phillies on July 29.
Wade stated at the time that the Astros had a list of names of players they would scout over the next 30 days as part of the process in choosing the player to be named later to finalize the package.
Singleton and Cosart rate as the Astros’ top two prospects in their farm system, according to Baseball America’s recent ranking.
Cosart and Zied are on the active roster at Double-A Corpus Christi, while Singleton finds himself in the California League at High A Lancaster.
Wade praises the Astros’ scouting department, especially the hours of hard work they did behind the scenes in preparing for the Pence, Michael Bourn and Jeff Keppinger trades, by evaluating minor league talent and putting together detailed reports.
Despite being pleased with the overall return package in all three trades, Wade states there’s always risk in making these types of deals.
“There’s always risk involved in any player who has yet to establish himself at the big league level,” Wade said. “If we weren’t prepared to accept and embrace the concept that risk isn’t involved, then we should never draft a player or sign a player internationally. All of the guys we get should come through trades for established players. What I just outlined is mission impossible. At some point in time, you’ve got to have faith in your own people and what they are seeing in players and what they are telling you, because they are putting their livelihoods on the line.
“They are saying, ‘I’ve got the experience to evaluate players. I’m telling you what this player is all about.’ At the end of the day, we’ve got to have the faith in the people who are working for us and have this as their livelihood that they are making the right decisions.
“Are there risks? Are there guys who are going to fall off the cliff? It’s an adversity pyramid. We always acknowledge to get to the big leagues is a real tough climb. Some guys will slide off that pyramid and some guys have to take a break at a level for a second year.
“All we can do is evaluate the tools and the talent.”
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