Detroit Tigers 5 Offensive Questions
By Matt Pelc
Mar 14, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos (9) runs during his fourth inning double against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
#5: Will Nick Castellanos take the next step?
There won’t be any Gold Gloves on the mantle at the Castellanos household–and there probably won’t be any yells from Mario Impemba in the fashion of “what an amazing play by Nick Castellanos!”
Although Castellanos has worked all winter and spring to get better at third base, the Tigers will never be looking for him as a solid defender. In fact DH, outfield or first base may be in his future down the line, but that is because the Tigers value the potential of his bat.
It might be hard to believe, because his name has been mentioned a lot over the past few years, but Castellanos is only 23 years old. He sported a slash line of .259/.306/.394 in his rookie campaign of 2014. Not good for a veteran but decent enough for a rookie.
He has a chance to be a .280 to .300ish hitter with homers in the 20-range annually. The Tigers will probably be happy to see Nick increase his productivity this year to .275, 20 homers and 80+ RBIs with an OPS near .780-.790 with hopes it climbs even higher in subsequent years.
He will be batting likely seventh most of the season, but if he can show some pop, Brad Ausmus might be willing to move him up.
I would even argue for Casty to move to the second spot in the order and he’ll see much better pitches in front of Miggy/Super Martinez Bros./Cespedes than in front of Avila/Iglesias.
Next: Jose Iglesias