Alex Santos, a flamethrower from Morrisania, just saw his dream come true as he was drafted by the Houston Astros in the second round of the MLB Draft.
He was the 72nd pick and was ranked No. 56 on the Top 200 Draft Prospects list. This was a compensation pick for the Astros, and coincidentally, it was for Gerrit Cole, who the Yankees drafted in 2008.
He was accepted to Maryland University, but said he is leaning towards going pro.
“I’m really excited,” an emotional Santos said to the Bronx Times. “I can’t wait to get out there and put the Astros jersey on. It’s something I’ve wanted my whole life.”
Mount Senior Alex Santos drafted by the Houston Astros with the 72nd pick in the 2020 MLB Draft pic.twitter.com/S1QTb2qTil
— MOUNT BASEBALL (@mountbaseball) June 11, 2020
Santos, 17, is a senior at Mount Saint Michael Academy at 4300 Murdock Ave. His fastball tops out at 95 mph, he has a nasty slider and mixes in a changeup and two seam curveball. He also was a 2019 all American classic player.
While he has committed to Maryland, he now has the chance to go pro. With a “bulldog” mentality, modeling himself after Cy Young winner Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer and New York Mets hurler Marcus Stroman, he is ready for the next level.
“It’s amazing because I’ve worked my whole life to be able to do something like that,” Santos said.
Santos began playing baseball at age 5 and quickly knew he belonged on the diamond. His father Alex also played and the sport brought them closer.
Over the years they bonded over America’s pastime. Alex taught his son about hitting, fielding and mechanics. But more importantly, Santos always worked hard and was dedicated to mastering his craft and improving his skills.
“I’ve always loved baseball,” Santos said. “Baseball was super fun for me.”
He started pitching at 10-years-old, but played other positions until this past season. Going into his junior year, scouts came to see him and he quickly realized he had a future on the mound.
According to Santos, he always had a strong arm. And with the help of his high school coach, Walter Stampfel, and trainer for many years, Melvin Perez, he learned how to dominate opposing batters, throw inside and control a game. In fact, he notched 18 strikeouts in a game last year.
Besides being a hard-nosed and feared pitcher, keeping his composure is a huge part of baseball, he explained. If he gives up a run or two, he knows he needs to buckle down and keep his head in the game, otherwise he’s done.
“Over the years I learned you have to hold down and battle,” he remarked.