Despite the Cubs’ claims that top prospect Starlin Castro is destined to open the 2010 campaign in Triple-A, fantasy owners have to be taking close notice. He’s been absolutely raking in Spring Training and let’s be honest, it’s not like the Cubs are loaded up the middle.
The 20-year old (he turns 20 on March 24) split 2009 between Single & Double-A, posting the following line:
469 At Bats
.299 Batting Average (140 Hits)
3 Home Runs
28 Stolen Bases
.341 On Base Percentage
.392 Slugging Percentage
.332 Batting Average on Balls in Play
What You Need To Know:
- Baseball America ranked him as the Cubs #1 prospect for 2010, as well as sixteenth overall.
- In regards to his ability at the plate, Baseball America said, “He has no trouble hitting breaking pitches, usually taking the first one from a pitcher he hasn’t seen before, sizing it up and attacking the next. Though he had just 32 extra-base hits in 2009, Castro has the power potential to double that total once he matures physically.”
- He is still developing on the base paths, despite his stolen base total in ’09. At Double-A he was just 22-for-33. He needs to be successful on a higher percentage of his attempts to fully maximize his potential.
- He was fantastic in the AFL, hitting .376 over 101 AB. He still showed little power, with just one home run (as well as five doubles and one triple). He was also 9-for-12 in stolen bases, showing some improvement there (he was also a perfect 6-for-6 at Double-A).
- He does a fantastic job of making contact, striking out just 12.9% of the time in his Minor League career. Unfortunately, he doesn’t walk much, at 6.0%. As he matures, he’ll learn how to take pitches instead of simply putting them in play.
The Cubs have said Castro will start the season at Triple-A, so fantasy owners outside of keeper leagues should not get too excited quite yet. Even if he is recalled, there’s no real guarantee that he’s going to be a usable option this season. We know he has not yet developed his power stroke and while the speed is there, it’s still a question mark. If he is not hitting atop the lineup, how much would the Cubs even let him run?
He’s an elite prospect and in a year or two, he’s likely to be an extremely usable option in all formats. For now, he’s best left for keeper league owners until further notice.
What are your thoughts? Is Castro a player you think will have value in 2010? How good could he be?
If you would like to see a free preview of the Rotoprofessor 2010 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide (available for just $5) now including a Top 50 Prospects for 2010 List, click here.
For more looks at prospects, you can check out the following articles: