Detroit Tigers: 3 players who have stepped up in 2022 but are best suited for a part-time role
OF Willi Castro
Earlier this season, I wrote an article outlining why the Willi Castro in the outfield experiment needed to end. Up to that point, he had been just as bad in the outfield defensively as he was in the infield. Fast forward six weeks or so, and Willi Castro has somewhat improved in the outfield.
There’s been a noticeable difference in his throwing ability. He’s been much better at preventing runners from advancing on balls hit in his direction. He’s got four outfield assists so far, and he’s actually been better in CF and RF than he has been in LF.
Both of his errors have come as a left fielder. He’s got an outs above average of 0, which lands him in the 41st percentile according to Baseball Savant.
Offensively, he’s still the same old Willi Castro for the most part. While he has cut down on the strikeouts, he still chases way too much and whiffs at a pretty alarming rate while rarely taking a walk. He also never hits the ball hard, as he’s in the 1st percentile in hard hit rate and 5th percentile in barrel percentage.
He has come up with some timely hits, and his contact rate on pitches inside the strike zone is the highest of his career. There seems to be more of an emphasis on contact in his approach. But it hasn’t been enough to justify him playing every day.
At just 25 years old, there’s still time for Willi Castro to figure things out. The fact that he’s made some improvement in the outfield is encouraging. But nothing to this point has signaled a huge adjustment at the plate. Until that happens, he should be a bench guy.