About 2 minutes reading time.

Former MLB Player, Domingo Santana, Dominating NPB

 David Polli - World Baseball Network  |    Jul 2nd, 2024 12:41pm EDT

Former MLB outfielder Domingo Santana is continuing a great career in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball League. In his fourth NPB season, the former MLB veteran is having his best year yet for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows.

The 31-year-old from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, leads the Central League in batting average, slugging, and OPS, in addition to being tied for the league lead in RBIs. Domingo is second in the entire NPB in OPS among qualified hitters, trailing only Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks outfielder Kensuke Kondoh.

This is his best season in the NPB, although he has been incredibly successful in his previous three seasons, never having an OPS under .844. The switch-hitting corner outfielder currently obtains a .310/.397/.512 slash line with 11 homers and 40 runs batted in. Santana would be more than deserving if selected to head to the NPB all-star game on July 23rd and 24th.

The Swallows are 31-37-4, sitting in 5th place in the central league, with Santana trying to keep them afloat with exactly half the season left to go. The top 3 teams in the CL advance to the Climax Series playoffs, and Yakult is only 3.5 games behind the current third-place Yomiuri Giants.

Santana had a 109 OPS+ in his seven years in the MLB, playing for the Milwaukee Brewers, Houston Astros, and Seattle Mariners, and his last season in the shortened 2020 season with the Cleveland Guardians. A respectable MLB slash line produced a career .788 OPS, including a 30 homer and .875 OPS season in 2017 with the Brewers.

If he keeps this up, Santana will surely be in the running for CL MVP. With Santana raking in Japan, you have to wonder if a return to an interested MLB club is in his future.

Photo Credit: Franmil Reyes #32 Domingo Santana #24 and Jose Ramirez #11 of the Cleveland Indians stand for the national anthem prior to the game against the Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field on July 26, 2020. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

author avatar
David Polli - World Baseball Network