CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Futures Guide 2014 is Now Available in Paperback and Three E-book Formats.

Premium and Super Premium Subscribers Get a 20% Discount at MLB.tv!

<< Previous Article
Premium Article On the Beat: Friday Up... (05/07)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Future Shock Blog: Min... (05/06)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Future Shock Blog: Min... (05/07)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Future Shock: Scouting... (05/07)

May 7, 2010

Future Shock Blog

What To Expect From Starlin Castro

by Kevin Goldstein

 

Back when the Cubs were struggling in April, I made a snarky comment on Twitter expecting some kind of over-reaction from the front office.  To be honest, I expected the Cubs to call up the red-hot Starlin Castro then, but instead, they decided to create baseball's first $18 million mop-up reliever.  A mid-week sweep by the lowly Pirates brought another need for a move, and today, the Cubs finally did call up Castro, who by going 10-for-17 in his last four games had raised his triple-slash line at Double-A Tennessee to a more-than-impressive .376/.421/.569.  The Dominican shortstop just turned 20 in March, but after a monster spring and this much offense so far in the Southern League, I think we can have some confidence that he's going to hit immediately.  Certainly not .376, but he should hold his own, as in yesterday's Scouting Notebook, a scout believed he could be a future 70 hitter, which is nearly batting title territory.  Beyond the ability to hammer line drives all over the field, Castro has a good, not great approach, but he's not overly aggressive like Corey Patterson was, and it shouldn't be a problem in the big leagues. 

The one thing to keep in mind however is the massive expectations Castro's mere existence have created for many Cubs fans.  He is not a typical 20-year-old Dominican shortstop.  He's not some sort of massive tools monster.  He's a fantastic hitter, but he's speed is average, and he power is still a long way from being of the in-game variety.  In 995 professional at-bats, he has nine career home runs, including just one this year, so while many project double-digit, if not more power down the road, don't expect it now.  In fact, by the time it does come, he's thickening body may have gotten to the point where he's no longer a shortstop.  He's not a do-it-all player as much as he is a solid defender and very good hitter.  One front-office official might have put it best when he said, "he's more Yunel Escobar than Jose Reyes."

That's not to say Castro can't help, and help immediately.  He makes the Cubs better right now.  While the sliding of Ryan Theriot to second base, the team gets better overall offensively, while improving defensively at two positions.  Even with just average wheels, he brings speed (how many even average runners do the Cubs have?) and energy to a lineup that is in desperate need of both, and I see little reason to believe he can't hit somewhere between his 70th and 80th percentile PECOTA forecasts with a line of .275/.335/.410.

Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Kevin's other articles. You can contact Kevin by clicking here

11 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Premium Article On the Beat: Friday Up... (05/07)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Future Shock Blog: Min... (05/06)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Future Shock Blog: Min... (05/07)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Future Shock: Scouting... (05/07)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of Wednesday, Jul...
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Sustained Success and the...
Eyewitness Accounts: July 24, 2014
Premium Article Painting the Black: The Selling-the-Closer M...
Premium Article Going Yard: J.D. Martinez Gets A Degree In H...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Tigers Bullpen Gets Le...
The Lineup Card: Seven Unsigned Top Draft Pi...

MORE FROM MAY 7, 2010
Premium Article Ahead in the Count: Most Net Valuable Player
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: A Tale of Three Shorts...
Premium Article Prospectus Q&A: Dave Baldwin
Premium Article Future Shock: Scouting Notebook, Part 2
Seidnotes: Livan La Vida Loca
Premium Article On the Beat: Friday Update

MORE BY KEVIN GOLDSTEIN
2010-05-10 - Premium Article Future Shock: Monday Ten Pack
2010-05-07 - Premium Article Future Shock: Scouting Notebook, Part 2
2010-05-07 - Premium Article Future Shock Blog: Minor League Update: Game...
2010-05-07 - Future Shock Blog: What To Expect From Starl...
2010-05-06 - Premium Article Future Shock: Scouting Notebook, Part 1
2010-05-06 - Premium Article Future Shock Blog: Minor League Update: Game...
2010-05-05 - Premium Article Future Shock Blog: Minor League Update: Game...
More...

MORE FUTURE SHOCK BLOG
2010-05-12 - Premium Article Future Shock Blog: Minor League Update: Game...
2010-05-11 - Premium Article Future Shock Blog: Minor League Update: Game...
2010-05-07 - Premium Article Future Shock Blog: Minor League Update: Game...
2010-05-07 - Future Shock Blog: What To Expect From Starl...
2010-05-06 - Premium Article Future Shock Blog: Minor League Update: Game...
2010-05-05 - Premium Article Future Shock Blog: Minor League Update: Game...
2010-05-04 - Premium Article Future Shock Blog: Minor League Update: Game...
More...

INCOMING ARTICLE LINKS
2010-05-07 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: A Tale of Three Shorts...