Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 12/7/12

There’s no doubt that Starlin Castro is talented, but when it comes to the All-Star shortstop, the criticism almost always revolves around his maturity. He’s bumped into problems with the law and his work ethic has been spotty during his tenure with the Cubs. While Cubs manager Dale Sveum noticed improvement in Castro’s attitude last season, he believes more growth is necessary. “What I want to see out of him is just keep progressing mentally,” Sveum told CSNChicago. “And understand the process of becoming a winning player and not a hit seeker. [It’s] becoming more of a winning hitter — in situations, by driving runs in, understanding the situations defensively. “He came a long way, but still has to even concentrate more. We’ve got him probably — just throwing a number out there — really focused 80 to 85 percent of the time. We got to get that to 95 percent of the time. I don’t think anybody ever really focuses 100 percent.” Castro used to be a liability on the defensive side of the diamond, leading the majors with 29 errors in 2011. He made strides on that end last season, working with teammate Darwin Barney to improve his fielding. The 22-year-old also delivered at the plate, hitting .283 with 14 home runs and 78 RBIs. He flourished despite an uncertain contract situation, but the Cubs quashed those concerns by inking him to a seven-year extension. With that distraction aside, general manager Jed Hoyer expects Castro to have a career year. “This is roughly when he should start to break out,” Hoyer said. “He’s going to start making that jump. The contract situation certainly was something that was on his mind last year. He now knows how we feel about him. He knows he’s got security. “All those financial issues — [he] doesn’t have to worry about those things anymore. While last year that might have distracted him, I think this year that should be something he’s relaxed about. He can just go out and play. I would be disappointed, candidly, if he didn’t take a step forward next year and I think he feels the same way.”

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Several NBA executives have concerns about Lonzo Ball’s father

Kim Mulkey gives awful post-game speech about Baylor scandal

Bill Walton goes shirtless during ESPN broadcast to the dismay of one woman

Sanu: Halftime show played role in Super Bowl collapse

James Dolan is among potential group of investors of new arena for New York Islanders

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Rams, Clippers discussing NBA venue in Inglewood

Terrence Jones reportedly interested in joining Celtics

LeBron reverses course, says he ‘always felt good’ about Cavs

Report: Ole Miss tried to implicate Mississippi State in football scandal

Jamaal Charles could be on the roster bubble

Jimmy Butler on state of Bulls: ‘I just want to win at all costs’

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

MLB 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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker