Tigers Prospect Nick Castellanos Not Ready for MLB

Rudy TarkusContributor IIMarch 31, 2017

KANSAS CITY, MO - JULY 08:  Nick Castellanos #1 of Team USA removes hit helmet after hitting a home run during the 6th inning of the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game against the World Team at Kauffman Stadium on July 8, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

While the Tigers have struggled offensively this season, fans have suggested everything from: trade Miguel Cabrera, sell the farm for Jose Altuve and most ignorantly, call up AA prospect third basemen Nick Castellanos and put him at second base. 

This one takes the cake.

There's no denying the kid can hit. In three years, his star has risen fast and his batting average from Rookie League through AA is a cool .335. 

But the Tigers have struggled through the first half, and when things go bad, fans will resort to anything to satiate their need for immediate success at the cost of ruining the career of a budding talent.

To put some things into perspective, baseball writers have repeatedly said that the Tigers would not be willing to move Castellanos for any reason. Jamie Samuelsen of the Detroit Free Press wrote in a June 6th piece:

The lesson here is patience. Let’s let Castellanos play. If he’s good enough to play in the majors, he’ll get here. The Nationals would have loved to hold Bryce Harper back, but they couldn’t. He was just too good. If Castellanos gets to that point, the Tigers will do the same thing, even though they’ve created a logjam at his position.

Samuelsen is dead on.

Firstly, the Tigers don't need a bat at the expense of overexposing a 20-year-old before he's learned everything he can in the minors.

Secondly, there's nowhere to put him. With DH Delmon Young heating up (four home runs in the last four games) and Miguel Cabrera manning the hot-corner efficiently (.964 fielding pct., 3rd in the AL), Castellanos would be relegated to an outfield position, which he's never played.

Fans even go so far as to suggest Castellanos could be put at second base to give the Tigers some much-needed production at that position.

This suggestion is undoubtedly the most outrageous of them all, as a quick look at Castellanos' minor league fielding numbers shows that he is nowhere near ready to play third base at the major league level:

In three seasons as a professional ball-player, Castellanos' fielding percentage is a mere .919. The current MLB average fielding percentage is .983.

The idea that the Tigers would bring up a 20-year-old prospect to play a position he's never played when he's already a deplorable defender is ludicrous. It doesn't get any more thoughtless than this.

As Samuelsen suggested, let the kid play ball. Perhaps he'll figure it out at third base. In the meantime, the Tigers can use some of owner Mike Ilitch's "pizza money" to bring in a quick fix at second base.