Don't Like Starlin Castro's Offense Or Contract? Just Wait
So the Cubs signed SS Starlin Castro to a whole mess of extension. Had Jim Hendry not promoted Castro from Double-A in an apparent effort to extend his own tenure with the Cubs maybe Castro would still be earning the MLB minimum. But alas, he has been extended.
And though he led the league in hits last season, many of those were for singles. And this year, he has a not-impressive 90 wRC+ (though the defense has improved considerably) and the concerns are mounting as his discipline numbers continue to move away from the Cubs Way and toward the Corey Patterson Way.
Fear not, though, as Dave Cameron (full disclosure: my boss) has a list of brow-wrinkling (in a good way) comparables:
The list of shortstops who have posted better offensive numbers than Castro in 1,000+ plate appearances through age 22 is very, very short. In the last 60 years, in fact, the list is only four players long – Alex Rodriguez, Cal Ripken, Jim Fregosi, and Wil Cordero. Shortstops who got to the Majors early and hit worse than Castro has to date? Gary Sheffield, Alan Trammell, Robin Yount, and Jose Reyes all fall in that category. These are the kinds of history lessons that make you want to lock up Castro now, before he takes a big step forward offensively and starts seeing free agency looming in the near future.Even if Castro is just the second-worst guy on that list and he's not then the Cubs have themselves a quality infielder.