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Detroit Tigers: Is Willi Castro ready for the big leagues?

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LAKELAND, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 19: Willi Castro #49 of the Detroit Tigers poses for a portrait during photo day at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium on February 19, 2019 in Lakeland, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
LAKELAND, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 19: Willi Castro #49 of the Detroit Tigers poses for a portrait during photo day at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium on February 19, 2019 in Lakeland, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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As the Detroit Tigers are taking their time to rebuild, many prospects have had their shot at making an impression in the major league lineup, but one standout prospect is yet to make his debut.

One prospect in the Tigers system who has been quite hot in Triple-A Toledo to start 2019 is INF Willi Castro. Castro has put up solid numbers with the Mud Hens this year, prompting the question: is he ready for his shot in the Detroit Tigers big league lineup?

Castro came into the Detroit Tigers system at last year’s trade deadline as part of a trade with the Cleveland Indians. The Tigers received the prospect from Cleveland in exchange for outfielder Leonys Martín, and Castro impressed the organization enough with his performances late last season in both Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo to earn the right to start 2019 in Triple-A.

Through 43 games this season with the Mud Hens, Castro has put up some pretty impressive numbers at the plate. With a .349 BA, .952 OPS, and 22 RBI, Castro could be of some help to the struggling Tigers’ offense.

With the recent struggles of Ronny Rodríguez, maybe a chance could soon open up for Castro to make his big league debut. Rodríguez has regressed after a hot start at the plate and has made some mistakes in the infield, so maybe a trip down to Triple-A could serve as a chance for Rodríguez to clear his head and give Castro a shot at making an impression in the majors.

Speaking of infield mishaps, however, there the main concern surrounding Castro is his ability in the field. In 42 games at shortstop for Toledo this year, Castro has committed nine errors and has just a .930 fielding percentage, so he may not serve as an upgrade from Rodríguez when it comes to defense.

The Detroit Tigers infield lately has been a bit like musical chairs. Rodríguez and Gordon Beckham have both spent time at shortstop with Jordy Mercer still in Toledo rehabbing an injury. Second base is open now as well with Josh Harrison being placed on the IL yesterday.

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Right now, the Tigers should value offense more than defense which could mean that Castro might get his shot. Ronny Rodríguez was benched for Tuesday night’s game in Baltimore, and sending him to Triple-A is probably not the worst idea given his current form. If Ronny is demoted, Willi Castro should be the top candidate to be called up.

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