In 2015, Detroit Tigers fans frequently complained about Castellanos’s issues on third base. He looked slow and often missed the routine plays. But, in 2016, Nick started the season on a high note. He appeared to have lost weight and gained muscle.
Passing the Eyeball Test at Third Base
His defensive numbers in 2016 were not extraordinary. He still committed errors and his .965 fielding percentage was actually a point less than the .966 he had in 2015, but there was clearly something different about Casty. He had more hustle and grit at the hot corner. He was passing the eyeball test with successful diving plays and spot-on throws.
Even though he missed more than 50 games, Castellanos had the 19th highest number of putouts with 66. The next highest number belonged to Los Angeles Dodger Justin Turner who had 67 putouts, but in 36 more games. Had Castellanos not broken his hand, his putout ranking would have been significantly higher.
Even Nick’s fielding percentage was notable, especially when compared to the other third basemen on the list. Josh Donaldson, the 2015 MVP, finished the 2016 season with .961. Of the everyday third basemen, Manny Machado had the highest fielding percentage of .979.
It would have been nice to see what Nick could have done with a complete season. Unfortunately, getting hit by a pitch took care of most of August and September.