Johan Alexander Santana Araque (English pronunciation: /ˈjoʊhɑːn sænˈtænə/; born March 13, 1979) is a Major League Baseball (MLB) left-handed starting pitcher who is currently playing for the New York Mets. He is a native of Venezuela.
A two-time Cy Young Award winner with the Minnesota Twins, he was considered one of the best pitchers in baseball, with a pitch repertoire that included a 88-94 mph fastball, along with a circle changeup, generally considered his best pitch, and a slider. His warm-up music is the song "Smooth" by Rob Thomas and Carlos Santana.
Santana was discovered in 1994 by Chance Partin, brother-in-law of Cheech Marin, who was a scout working for the Houston Astros at the time. He signed Santana and sent him to his academy in Guacara in January 1995. Santana did not like it and almost left, but Reiner convinced him to stay. While originally a center fielder, Santana was converted to a pitcher at the academy due to his arm speed. In 1999 he was named the Tovar Mérida Athlete of the Year.