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Why Isn’t Anyone Talking About Nick Castellanos?

Nick Castellanos is having the best season of his career, and he’s doing it as 21-year-old in Triple-A.

He’s a big-time offensive prospect in the system of one of the best teams in baseball. He’s well known to even casual prospect fans, as he’s been the best player in Detroit’s system forever. And as a player performing in the minor leagues’ highest level, he’s close to an MLB call-up.

So why isn’t anyone talking about him?

I’m not sure, but it’s time to start.

Through 373 PA in Tripe-A, Castellanos boasts a .301/.378/.488 line with a .333 BABIP, making him good for a wRC+ of 134. He has 11 homeruns and 26 doubles, and he’s gone 3-for-4 in stolen bases to boot.

But those numbers don’t represent what excites me most about Castellanos. What has my prospect sense tingling is “Casty’s” newfound patience and approach at the plate, as the outfielder is posting his highest BB% and lowest K% since Rookie ball in 2010.Castellanos is striking out in just 15.5% of his PA, and is walking in 11.3% of them. That’s really, really good, and represents a pretty dramatic improvement over how he performed in 341 PA in Double-A last season.

In fact, it’s a pretty dramatic improvement from the rates he’s posted throughout his career. Castellanos has always displayed the ability to hit for average, but until this year the power had yet to truly show, and the on-base ability was just good, not great. Now, Castellanos is on pace to create the sort of stat line in the minors he could put up in the majors during his prime.

The profile isn’t as sexy in the outfield as it was at third base, and I think that with Casty, some owners are suffering from the prospect fatigue concept my esteemed colleague Craig Goldstein spoke of a few  weeks back as well. But an outfielder who can challenge for .300/.360/.450 with 20 homers in his prime is very valuable. Add in the context that Castellanos will begin his career hitting in one of the majors’ best lineups, and the Fantasy upside becomes pretty awesome: if you’re thinking “Alex Gordon without speed,” that sound about right to me.

So don’t let the lack of noise surrounding Castellanos fool you. He’s putting up gaudy stats that aren’t due for regression, he’s showing real improvement in his approach at the plate, he’s growing into some pop and he’s very, very close to a job in the majors.

Castellanos is an easy Top 10 Fantasy prospect for me now, and is worth a speculative add in very deep leagues if you need outfield help.

The Author

Ben Carsley

Ben Carsley

10 Comments

  1. July 2, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    Love to see Castellanos getting some pub!! I agree with the fatigue concept and, he’s not getting the respect he deserves. The guy is a professional hitter and will be for years to come. Playing in the AL, he could even contribute as a DH. The move from 3rd because of Cabrera just shows how good he is because they want his bat in the Tiger line up. By the time the playoffs come around he will be known. What Avisail Garcia did last year was nice, but it will pale in comparison… @Peoplez_MLFS

  2. Jeff
    July 3, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Selfishly, I’m holding out hope that Castellanos is traded somewhere else for a closer. He’s much more valuable in fantasy if he can retain 3B eligability.

    • July 3, 2013 at 10:59 am

      Wouldn’t count on it, but don’t stop believing. They’ve waited so long on him, doubt they cut ties now. Papelbon slim chance, but Benoit is legit.

  3. JP
    July 7, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Offered Gyorko ($15) and Castellanos ($5) for Granderson ($20) in my 12-team dynasty. Like the upside of the former — especially Gyorko’s power at a shallow position — but wary of giving up a proven 35+ HR guy on the verge of a returning. Of course, Granderson is a FA after this season and may not return to that friendly short RF porch in Yankees Stadium.

    Thoughts?

    • Chris
      July 10, 2013 at 1:34 pm

      I think I’d rather have Gyorko and Castellanos than Granderson under those circumstances. There seem to be a lot of questions about his rehab and he is not responding well apparently. Gyorko looks like a pretty legit option at 2B going forward and Castellanos also looks to be a very solid contributor. I guess part of the analysis is who you can plug in at 2B to replace Gyorko, because between Jed and Nick, I think they’ll out perform Granderson for the rest of this year and going forward.

      Just my opinion. Granderson is obviously a proven guy, but too many questions regarding health and he’s definitely benefited from playing at Yankee Stadium, which as you mention, may not be the case next year.

  4. SteLow
    July 30, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    I’m in a 20-team keeper-/dynasty-league with 8 keepers and someone offered me tyler skaggs+castellanos+his 3rd round pick (which is the 11th round pick if you include the keeper-rounds) for will myers. i always have a problem with trades including young prospects because i still don’t know enough about most of them. so what do you guys think?

    • July 31, 2013 at 8:18 am

      In a league with eight keepers, I would not do it. Hang onto Myers.

    • July 31, 2013 at 8:36 am

      I think it comes down to how your pitchers rank in your league. Skaggs should be a stud and Castellanos the ability to be an above average 3B’man. Myers is a beast tho and is already showing it. This is one of those rare fantasy trades that looks good from both sides. Pick your favorite to cheer for of the bunch and go that way.

      • SteLow
        July 31, 2013 at 8:48 am

        starting pitching is my weak spot. qs, k and wins are below average and worse. i have wainwright, j.parker,mike leake (who i don’t trust as a reliable fantasy sp even though some of his #’s look pretty good this season) and a bunch of crappy sp.
        i really like myers a lot so i won’t do the trade. thanks guys!

  5. SteLow
    July 31, 2013 at 8:32 am

    that was also my initial reaction though we have ten keepers at the end of next season.
    thanks for the advice!

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