Nick Castellanos: Could Hot Prospect Force Detroit Tigers' Hand?
The Detroit Tigers' highly prized third base prospect Nick Castellanos is showing no signs of slowing down at Double-A Erie.
OK, maybe a little.
But after coming off an early spring where he batted .405 at Class-A Advanced, surely Castellanos is going to slow down a little.
Not really. This 6’4”, 210-lb third base phenom continues his obliteration of stitched circles.
Currently, Castellanos is batting .307 (35-for-114) with four home runs and 15 RBI in 27 games for the SeaWolves. The Florida native also has six doubles and a triple that accompanies an OBP/SLG/OPS of .311/.482/.793.
In the past 10 games, Castellanos has torched pitching with a .341 (15-for-44) average. He has one home run, three RBI and a .370/.477/.847 line during this stretch.
For Tigers fans, watching Castellanos tear through the minor leagues is fantastic.
And according to some, Castellanos is just one hot streak away from creating a dilemma in Motown.
During Detroit’s 8-7 win over the Kansas City Royals Saturday, Fox Sports play-by-play announcers Mario Impemba and Rod Allen said it was only a short matter of time before Castellanos would force his way into the big leagues.
“He’s going to play somewhere, and very soon,” Allen told Impemba.
While I'm excited for Castellanos, I am not going to jump the gun. To be fair, Castellanos has struck out 26 times to just two walks so far at Erie.
But it is still very difficult to argue—especially in the wake of what Mike Trout and Bryce Harper have achieved—that Castellanos could not arrive in Motown and help motor this team to victory.
That said, if Castellanos did ultimately force Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski’s hand, how would he break into Detroit's lineup?
According to John Lowe of The Detroit Free Press, it could most likely be in the outfield, albeit not until the spring of 2013.
“Castellanos will become an outfielder,” Lowe wrote. “He'd hardly be the first infielder to become an outfielder, a group which includes Pete Rose and Robin Yount. The move didn't slow either man's march to 3,000 hits.”
While it would be thrilling to see Castellanos in Detroit this season, I still think the team should keep him in the minor leagues.
Let this young man continue to crush minor league pitching this season. Let his confidence grow. And let his hunger to make his way to Comerica Park fester over snowfall. Then come spring training 2013, give Castellanos every opportunity to make the ballclub.
Once this prodigy does arrive in the big leagues, he will be part of a lineup that will give big league pitchers nightmares for years to come.
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