José Rafael Santiago Fuentes (born November 5, 1974) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. Listed at 6' 3" , 200 lb. , Santiago batted and threw right-handed. He was born in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.

Playing career

Santiago was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 70th round of the 1994 Major League Baseball draft. He debuted with the Royals in , bouncing back and forth between the major league club and the minor leagues until being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in . The Phillies released him after the season. In , he played for the Cleveland Indians and in , he signed with the Chicago White Sox organization, though he saw no time in the majors that year. In , he signed a minor league contract with the New York Mets and was called up to the majors in July. After that, Santiago was a member of the Puerto Rico national team in the 2006 World Baseball Classic and joined the Olmecas de Tabasco for the rest of the summer. In addition to playing for the New Orleans Zephyrs in the Mets farm system In , Santiago pitched for the Gigantes de Carolina Puerto Rico representing team in the Caribbean Series. He then signed with the Dorados de Chihuahua in , finishing the season with a record of 7–11 and an ERA of 5.53. He retired after that season. In between, Santiago played winter ball with the Cardenales de Lara and Leones del Caracas clubs of the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League.



After retiring, Santiago became a pitching coach. In 2015, he took over the role for the Gigantes de Carolina of the Liga Profesional Roberto Clemente. After coincidentally meeting Edwin Díaz during the 2016 offseason, Santiago began training the Seattle Mariners reliever.

Other baseball initiatives

Santiago also serves other roles within baseball, such as that of pitching coach of several teams of the local Doble A amateur league including Cocoteros de Loiza, Guardianes de Dorado, Halcones de Gurabo and currently the Artesanos de Las Piedras. In 2016, he served as the head pitching coach of MLB's Development Program in Puerto Rico, then he was recruited by local baseball academies such as PRoBaseball Academy and IBAHS. Santiago runs a college placement program in Puerto Rico called Optimus Prospects Baseball Academy. He also leads a baseball initiative based in the municipality of Loíza.

Personal life

Santiago is currently living in his hometown of Loiza, Puerto Rico with his wife and former sports reporter, Sarai Colon. He has two children, Joselyn Marie and Ian Jareb Santiago. Santiago is a horse racing aficionado and has owned several thoroughbreds that competed at Hipódromo Camarero. He was also a known breeder for cockfights in Puerto Rico, where that sport was legal until 2019.


External links

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Pura Pelota (VPBL stats)
{{DEFAULTSORT:Santiago, Jose Category:1974 births Category:Living people Category:Buffalo Bisons (minor league) players Category:Cardenales de Lara players Category:Charlotte Knights players Category:Cleveland Indians players Category:Dorados de Chihuahua players Category:Gigantes de Carolina players Category:Gulf Coast Royals players Category:Kansas City Royals players Category:Lansing Lugnuts players Category:Leones del Caracas players Category:Major League Baseball pitchers Category:Major League Baseball players from Puerto Rico Category:Mexican League baseball pitchers Category:New Orleans Zephyrs players Category:New York Mets players Category:Norfolk Tides players Category:Olmecas de Tabasco players Category:Omaha Golden Spikes players Category:Omaha Royals players Category:People from Fajardo, Puerto Rico Category:Puerto Rican expatriate baseball players in Mexico Category:Philadelphia Phillies players Category:Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons players Category:Spokane Indians players Category:Wichita Wranglers players Category:Wilmington Blue Rocks players Category:2006 World Baseball Classic players