Originally written on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 11/1/14

For most of last season (and the year before) I wasn’t very bullish on Starlin Castro as a fantasy option. He didn’t seen to have enough pop or enough speed to be a major factor, and though I knew he’d hit around .300, I wasn’t sure he’d be able to score enough runs or tally enough RBI to make up for it. As it turns out Castro did just enough of everything to be a top 40 player, and he gives hope to Dustin Ackley owners everywhere that a player without elite power or speed can derive the majority of his value from a good batting average.

Best case scenario: A repeat of 2011 with a couple more homers
Similar players: Melky Cabrera (SF), Derek Jeter (NYY), Brandon Phillips (CIN)
Worst case scenario: Dustin Ackley (SEA)

Strengths

BA (especially vs. LHP), balance. The .300-plus average carries even more weight since Castro closes in on 700 at-bats per season, and he batted .342 against lefties last season. Other than that, Castro’s splits were incredibly even.

Weaknesses

Lineup, RBI. Castro is set to bat second for a very bad offense. David DeJesus is the likely leadoff hitter, and the 3-4 guys right now are Marlon Byrd and Bryan LaHair. Aramis Ramirez’s bat will sorely be missed.

ADP Report (41.8)

Not a chance. I realize that Castro ranked 36th last season, but the Cubs look to have one of the worst lineups in baseball, and that should mean fewer runs and RBI for Castro. I’m not sure there’s much extra room for growth with his home run or stolen base totals, at least not in the coming season, and that means he’ll probably fall outside the top 40 or 50.

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