Transaction Grade: Welington Castillo Signs With Chicago, A Move That Needs Your Attention

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The Contract
Two-year contract worth $15 million guaranteed (plus $8 million club option)

 

The Player
The White Sox had a clear void at catcher, even during a rebuild, and Castillo is a very good fit.  He not only offers a veteran presence that can help develop the young starting pitchers, but he also adds a productive bat to the lineup.  In his only season in Baltimore he hit .282 with 20 HR and 53 RBI over 365 PA (96 games) and has averaged 16.5 HR per year over the past four years.  That has come calling various stadiums home, so we can’t call him ballpark dependent (though Chicago will be a favorable place to play).

The biggest question has always been his ability to make consistent contact, something that was prevalent last season (26.6% strikeout rate).  It’s not that he strays from the strike zone (28.4% O-Swing%) and he’s helped to offset the issue by making louder contact over the past two years (LD% // BABIP):

  • 2016 – 25.4% // .337
  • 2017 – 24.4% // .336

We may see a bit of a regression, and that will hurt his overall appeal, but he should continue to be close to a .250ish hitter.  From a catcher with power, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Castillo has generally shown a platoon split throughout his career:

  • LHP – .295/.355/.499
  • RHP – .246/.306/.403

It’s something to keep in mind, but it’s unlikely that the White Sox only deploy him against southpaws (especially after he slashed a respectable .258/.307/.460 against RHP in ’17).

At the end of the day we are probably looking at a floor of .250/16/50 and while that’s not a fancy line, it’s solid and fits him with with the solid options at the position.  In this home ballpark and given the other numbers, the upside is even more than that.

 

The Grade – B+
The White Sox aren’t challenging for a World Series, and the addition of Castillo isn’t going to change that.  That said this is a solid signing for the team and a very good landing spot for Castillo.  He has the upside of a Top 10 fantasy catcher, and he’ll be well worth targeting.

Source – Fangraphs

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Make sure to check out all of our 2018 Projections:

Player
Date Published
Cano, Robinson10/09/17
Castillo, Luis10/03/17
Gerrit Cole10/30/17
Didi Gregorius11/20/17
Wil Myers10/24/17
Quintana, Jose11/13/17
Sanchez, Aaron12/05/17
Schoop, Jonathan11/27/17
Stroman, Marcus10/16/17
Walker, Taijuan 11/06/17

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