Detroit Tigers: Four Players Who’ve Carried Team So Far

Apr 12, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez (41) receives congratulations from third baseman Nick Castellanos (9) after scoring in the sixth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 12, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez (41) receives congratulations from third baseman Nick Castellanos (9) after scoring in the sixth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers
Apr 28, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos (9) hits an RBI double in the third inning against the Oakland Athletics at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

Nick Castellanos

It is a little hard to believe that Nick Castellanos has already played in parts of four different seasons. The third baseman had a brief, 11-game debut in 2013 before becoming a regular in 2014 and 2015.

At just 24-years-old, Castellanos is in the midst of a breakout season.

He was clearly a solid player in 2014 and 2015—Castellanos averaged 70 RBI, 32 doubles, 13 home runs and five triples per year from 2014 to 2015— but the former first-round pick has taken things to a completely different level.

The calendar is approaching the middle of May, and the third baseman’s batting average is still a robust .375. Not only does that the lead the Tigers, it leads the entire league. In addition, Castellanos has smacked six doubles, a triple and five home runs to go along with his team-leading 24 RBI.

It would seem that hitting behind the likes of Miguel Cabrera, J.D. Martinez, Victor Martinez and Justin Upton has its advantages.

Something else that has its advantages is jumping on first-pitch fastballs. Castellanos is hitting .647 with a double, three home runs and 11 RBI in 18 plate appearances when swinging at the first pitch. His OPS in those instances? 1.846.