Detroit Tigers: The New and Improved Nicholas Castellanos

kris10bentley
Mar 26, 2017; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos (9) rounds second base following a solo home run during the first inning of a MLB spring training baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 26, 2017; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos (9) rounds second base following a solo home run during the first inning of a MLB spring training baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /
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Anyone who has been watching the Detroit Tigers in spring training has to have noticed a few things about Nick Castellanos.

First, the Detroit Tigers third baseman has asked to be called Nicholas Castellanos.

The other thing is that young Nicholas Castellanos looks a bit different.

He appears to have matured from the kid who couldn’t find a uniform that fits a man who can hit home runs that never seem to land. So what brought about this change?

Something Looks Different

Detroit Tigers
Mar 7, 2017; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos (9) hits a single to left field during the first inning of an MLB spring training baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

One of the most noticeable differences is the way that Castellanos looks in his uniform. Long gone are the baggy pants and oversized jerseys. It might be the heat of the Florida sun, but Castellanos looks like he has decided to go with the fitted pants and open-neck jersey. This shows off the fact that he has seriously worked out in the off-season. He no longer looks like a young man who is still trying to hide some of his leftover baby fat. He looks lean, fit, and fast.

He looks lean, fit, and fast.

His new look has even garnered the attention of none other than Mr. Tiger, Al Kaline. During an interview on Sunday afternoon on Fox Sports Detroit, Kaline commented his expectations for Castellanos to have the best season. While predictions are difficult to make, it is easy for Tigers fans to listen and trust the words of the wise Al Kaline.

You can hear the conversation between Kaline, Mario Impemba, and Rod Allen here.

Jaw-Dropping Home Run

If Castellanos’s performance in Sunday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays is any sign of what is to come in the regular season, then we fans are in for a show. In Castellanos’s first at-bat on Sunday afternoon, he launched a home run to left field that never appeared to have landed.

Then, in his next at-bat, he hit a fly ball to right field that earned him two bases. As the number two batter, he set himself up perfectly for a Miguel Cabrera RBI. The Big Man hit a ground ball single and Casty easily scored from second base.

He’s Still Young

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It is hard to remember that Nick Castellanos is only 25 years old. He did make his first Major League appearance at the end of the 2013 season when he was only 21 years old. According to Baseball Reference, at his same age, Castellanos is compared to a young Edwin Encarnacion – who Casty and the rest of the Tigers will be seeing on a regular basis. And, who has been known to hit a few home runs off of the Tigers.

Castellanos’s spring training numbers are impressive and they are a sign of good things to come. The competitive 25-year-old has a slash of .392/.426/.784. He has four home runs which ties him for first in spring training with Justin Upton and Dominic Ficociello. But, he also has eight doubles which put him in a solid lead ahead of Omar Infante‘s five doubles. He also leads the team in hits and RBIs. This is notable because he has only played in 19 games.

Next: Bye-Bye Mark Lowe and Other Roster Moves

Keep your eyes on Nick Castellanos in 2017. I’m going to predict that he will have his first All-Star year and will garner more than just Al Kaline’s attention.

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