Benito Santiago

Able to zip the ball on a line to any base from his knees, Santiago has the deadliest throwing arm among active ML catchers, but he has struggled offensively after a sensational rookie season, and his all-around defensive play remains sloppy. He was a unanimous choice as NL Rookie of the Year in 1987, when he hit .300 with 18 HR, 79 RBI, and 21 stolen bases, threw out 33% of the opposition’s base stealers, and set a ML rookie record with a 34-game hitting streak (finally broken by Orel Hershiser). The streak was also a club record, and an ML record for catchers. Santiago’s throwing improved in 1988, as he began to show off his lightning-quick from-the-knees throw more regularly. He threw out 45% of the basestealers who dared run against him, and picked off nine runners – seven at second base. His hitting, however, slumped badly (.248, 10 HR, 46 RBI), and although he won a Gold Glove, he still led NL catchers in errors for the second consecutive season with 12.