Johan Alexander Santana Araque (born March 13, 1979) is a Major League Baseball left-handed starting pitcher who formerly played for the Minnesota Twins before being acquired by the New York Mets prior to the 2008 season. He is a 2-time American League Cy Young Award winner (both unanimous selections).
Santana was born in Tovar, Mérida State, Venezuela and attended Jordan High School, where he played baseball and soccer.
Santana was signed by the Houston Astros as an undrafted free agent in 1995 but remained in Venezuela, where he was named the Tovar Mérida Athlete of the Year in 1999. Later that year, he was selected by the Florida Marlins from Houston in the 1999 Rule 5 draft and then traded to the Minnesota Twins for minor leaguer Jared Camp. Santana made his Major League debut with the Twins on April 3, 2000, coming from the bullpen vs. Tampa Bay. He made his first MLB start on April 7, 2000, at Kansas City and recorded his first Major League win in a relief appearance at Houston on June 6. Santana and his wife, Yasmile, have two daughters, Jasmily & Jasmine.
Santana is tough on both right-handed and left-handed hitters. He works quickly and throws a 91-95 mph fastball, a hard slider (which he has worked into a slurve)and can surve either left or right, and a tailing changeup that is considered one of best changeups in baseball.¹
Here are the stats for Santana's two Cy Young award winning years.
Spotlighting Johan Santana's 2004 & 2006 Cy Young Awards Year Tm Lg W L Sv ERA IP SO H ER R HR PBB IBB WP HBP BK 2004 MIN AL 20 6 0 2.61 228.0 265 156 66 70 24 54 0 7 9 0 2006 MIN AL 19 6 0 2.77 233.2 245 186 72 79 24 47 0 4 4 1
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