Tigers SS prospect: 'I plan to be better' than Alan Trammell

97.1 The Ticket
97.1 The Ticket

Legendary Tigers shortstop Alan Trammell has four Gold Gloves, three Silver Sluggers, a World Series MVP and, oh, a plaque in the Hall of Fame.

An 18-year-old shortstop in the Tigers' system plans to be better than him.

Aim high, right?

After taking infield instruction from Trammell at Tigers' minor-league minicamp Tuesday in Lakeland, Cristian Santana, who signed with Detroit out of the Dominican Republic last winter for a franchise record $2.95 million, was asked what it's like to work one-on-one with such an esteemed shortstop.

"It's an honor to play with him and learn from him. But if God allows me, I plan to be better than him," Santana told reporters through a team interpreter.

There's a reason the Tigers spent big on Santana last January, beyond his obvious confidence. After scouting him for three years, they envision him as an impact hitter in the bigs. MLB Pipeline compares Santana to former Tigers shortstop and three-time All-Star Jhonny Peralta, noting he he an "advanced approach and raw power," "quick feet" in the field and the "speed to be a plus runner." All told, a pretty darn good package.

The Tigers' No. 1 shortstop prospect and No. 9 overall according to MLB Pipeline, Santana will begin this season in the Florida Complex League, with a chance to reach Low-A Lakeland by season's end. He said his goal is to be in the majors by 2025. (Javier Baez, by the way, is signed through 2027.) His confidence, he told reporters, "is natural."

"I'm just born with it," he said.

You don't say.

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