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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Delvy Santiago talked up a young hurler as a scout; Played six seasons himself, made single-A

Pirates scout Delvy Santiago had to talk up the not-so-young hurler Luis Figueroa. The Pirates took Santiago's advice, signing the 23-year-old, according to The Beaver County Times.

After working his way through the minor leagues, just four years later, Figueroa in the major leagues.

"There aren't too many players who get a chance to become a pro player when they're 23," Figueroa told The Times in July 2001. "But Delvy was the one who believed I could do it and I know he has to be extremely proud that I've made it to the major leagues."

Santiago became a scout after a pro career that lasted six seasons, and one that got its start long before Figueroa's did. Santiago played his first pro game at the age of 16. Also unlike Figueroa, Santiago never made the majors.

Santiago's pro career began in 1986, signed by the Pirates as an undrafted free agent out of his native Puerto Rico.

With the Pirates, Santiago started in the rookie Gulf Coast League, playing four games that first year, giving up 10 earned runs in eight innings. The next spring, The Pittsburgh Press warned against reading too much into Santiago's numbers. He was just 16.

Santiago ended up staying in the Gulf Coast League for three seasons. It was in 1989 that he made it to rookie Princeton, getting a game at single-A Salem. At Princeton, Santiago got 14 starts, going 6-6, with a 3.67 ERA.

For 1990, Santiago moved to single-A Augusta. He got into 31 games, 19 starts, going 9-10, with a 3.42 ERA. It was Santiago's final season with the Pirates. He returned with the Indians at single-A Columbus in 1991, going 7-4, ending his career.

Santiago then went on to his career as a scout, sticking with the Pirates through at least 2001. In 2003, Santiago was then credited as scouting for the Expos.
1990 Minor Leagu Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:1,069
Made the Majors: 656 - 61.4%
Never Made Majors: 413-38.6%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 286
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 169

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