Every fantasy baseball season is full of disappointments and surprises, it’s just the nature of the beast. Knowing when to hold on or cut bait is the ultimate key to fantasy success. We will be looking at both the surprises and disappointments, trying to dissect who we should hold, who we should fold and who is a complete mystery as we reach the virtual halfway point of the season.
One of the biggest disappointments this season may be Starlin Castro. Just 23-years old he was supposed to continue developing but instead the numbers have plummeted. Is it time to give up hope on the player many thought would be among the elite shortstops in the league? Lets take a look:
Everything about Castro has regressed this season from his average (.233) to his power (4 HR/.328 SLG) to his speed (7 SB). While we see some regression in the underlying numbers, is it really enough to make us think a rebound is not in his future?
1) Strikeouts are up
The owner of a career 14.6% strikeout rate, Castro is currently at 18.0%. It’s up, but it’s not a number that would cause us to flock away from him, especially since it was about 16.5% over the first two months. Maybe he pressed in June (21.2%), but that’s something that should correct itself.
2) Walks are down
He’s currently at 3.4%, but he never walked much (5.0% for his career). Again, not the biggest concern.
3) Line Drives are down
His overall line drive rate is at 19.5% after being over 20% each of the past two seasons. In June, however, the number is actually up to 22.6% yet he has been incredibly unlucky with a .205 BABIP. This would seem to indicate that there’s a big improvement coming on the horizon.
4) Home runs are down
His HR/FB is at 4.3% (5.3% for his career), but the good thing is that he hasn’t yet let it get in his head and start swinging for the fences. Expecting a significant growth in power may have been a mistake, but ultimately seeing him reach 10-12 HR is still very plausible.
5) Stolen bases are down
Well, it’s hard to steal when you aren’t getting on base…
6) His Contact Rate in the strike zone is down
He currently owns a Z-Contact% of 89.2% as compared to a career mark of 91.5%. However, his rate is still above average and he’s swinging at virtually the same number of pitches both inside and outside the strike zone.
So what does all this mean? The strikeouts/walk numbers are not concerning, nor is the home runs (because he hasn’t become infatuated). With the line drives improving you would think the luck would come with it and, in turn, he would get more opportunities to run.
The end result? It would not be surprising to see the average quickly rise and Castro still end the year as a 10/20 player. He certainly isn’t a player to cut bait on. In fact, buying him seems like an intelligent move, if possible.
What are your thoughts of Castro?
Source – Fangraphs