Originally written on World Series Dreaming  |  Last updated 11/18/14
Florida-marlins-chicago
I doubt it’ll happen in 2013. However, now is a good time to talk about what improvements I think we will see from Castro in 2013 and why the whole “Is he a Theo player?” thing is kind of silly on a few levels. Starlin Castro crept up on Cubs fans in 2010 as initial reports of a hot shot Dominican shortstop bled out of Spring Training and culminated in a rather fantastic debut which featured a record-breaking 6 RBI’s and a very unfortunate haircut. Actually, upon further review I kinda hope he brings this back. Skip over a few 200 hit seasons, some lackadaisical defense and a regime change to the present day and we now have a slightly polarizing player who is at once a known commodity, misunderstood, overrated, underrated, and completely confusing. The Starlin we know today is a good player at a premium position that has teased with bouts of elite and #slack. Castro is a good hitter that lacks patience. He has the tools to be a good shortstop but his mental errors are currently capping what he can do in the field. He is a young player that is still learning at the MLB level, but he is a player that needs to refine his craft if he wants to take the next step into the elite category. Essentially, anyone that writes off Castro as a bad player, or who thinks they already know what Castro’s career arc will be need to cool their evaluation engines. He has a lot of promise and he is knocking on the door of greatness, here are some of the improvements I would like to see from him: He needs the D Castro started off 2012 horribly from a defensive standpoint. He committed 7 quick errors in May before righting the ship and making a significant jump forward the rest of the way. Castro would end up with a league high 27 E’s, but he also improved his fielding percentage, led the league in range factor, and did pass some of the eye tests when it came to playing the position well. He needs to make another jump and become more than simply competent in my estimation. This year I will look for Castro to improve on his defense, refine his throws to first, and have a deeper understanding of what it is to play the position at the MLB level. Castro has the physical gifts to be a good shortstop, he needs to meld that with focus and #want to get there. Walk off the island I have a love/hate relationship with this saying. On the one hand I find it funny, on the other I find it mildly offensive when it’s used irresponsibly by white broadcasters. Anyway, Castro famously did not talk a walk for 20+ games in the early stages of 2012. Starlin is not a very patient hitter at this point, he likes to swing the bat and he tends to fall in love with his bat coverage. This is a weakness that pitchers exploit via the low and away breaking stuff that Castro loves chasing. Towards the end of the year Castro did refine his approach a bit as his walk rate jumped to a respectable number. The Cubs said that his dip from June to early August was a result of Dale Sveum and his coaching staff working with Castro’s pitch recognition (Bleacher Nation did a great write up on how Rowson worked with the Cubs to become more patient). So, I would like to see Castro hold onto those gains and up his walk rate to 8-10% by season’s end. Power up Castro has a very pretty swing, from stance to finish. It has some lift to it which still makes me hopeful that he can be a 20-25 HR guy in the future. Castro came up as a baby, and throughout his MLB career he has been upping his ISO numbers to a fairly respectable number. This will also aid in the search for walks as pitchers will be more reluctant to give him easy stuff to hit if they have to respect the HR potential. I’m not asking for a major jump in SLG or HR numbers. I would like him to gain some of the doubles back and perhaps add a few HR’s to the 14 he hit in 2012. Synopsis Player careers are not on a linear path, there are some growing pains along the way. With that said I think Starlin Castro is close to breaking out. He’s shown the ability to hit, he’s shown flashes of incompetence with the glove, he’s shown a flash of patience, and he’s shown some decent power potential. It’s nearing time that he puts it all together and takes the next step from All Star to legitimate baseball star. A SS that can put up a .300/.360/.470 slash line with good defense is just that, and I think Castro can do it.  
PLAYERS: Starlin Castro
TEAMS: Chicago Cubs
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Red Sox set to add Hanley Ramirez

Darrelle Revis, Ndamukong Suh exchange words after game

Curt Schilling's son causes scare at Logan Airport

Manziel's girlfriend weighs in on the Browns QB situation

Scalpers in Detroit selling free Jets-Bills tickets for $125

Report: Redskins could bench Robert Griffin III

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Broncos have meeting with scoreboard operator

Report: Cowboys could still pursue Adrian Peterson

Manny Pacquiao: I'm ready to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr.

John Calipari gets daughter's birthday wrong

Carson: Hall of Fame career not worth concussion problems

Tiger hires new swing coach

10 takeaways from Sunday's Week 12 NFL action

WWE Survivor Series results: Sting debuts, Team Cena wins

WATCH: Odell Beckham makes the catch of the season

WATCH: Marshawn Lynch's awesome post game interview

Video: RG3 gets crushed, his linemen look unfazed

WATCH: Dominic Raiola tries to cheap-shot Patriots' lineman

WATCH: Janoris Jenkins returns interception for 99 yd TD

WATCH: TY Hilton chokes up in emotional postgame interview

WATCH: Chris Clemons accidentally knocks ref's hat off

WATCH: Aaron Rodgers throws nifty TD across his body

WATCH: LeGarrette Blount does Antonio Brown's end zone dance

WATCH: Eagles take opening kickoff 107 yards for TD

Cubs News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Beckham makes the catch of the season

10 takeaways from NFL Week 12

WWE Survivor Series results

Report: Red Sox set to add Hanley Ramirez

Dominic Raiola admits to dirty play

WATCH: Revis, Suh exchange words

Manziel's GF wants her man to play

Cowboys to pursue Adrian Peterson?

Cal gets daughter's bday wrong

Carson: Career not worth concussions

Report: Gundy pursuing Florida job

Tiger hires new swing coach

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.