Starlin Castro is primed to have a bounce-back season in the Windy City.
It's no secret that last year was a major struggle for Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro. In fact, it was the first time in his baseball life that he didn't succeed. The fact is that he is just too talented to continue to perform at the same level that he did in 2013.
Before he finished with a .245 average last season, his lowest average in his professional career was .283. It's no coincidence that Castro has always hit for such a high average. While his lack of discipline at the plate will always be a problem, the fact that he has a "see ball-hit ball" mentality actually helps him.
With many coaches in his ear a season ago who were trying to change his approach at the plate, Castro floundered. Group that with the downward spiral that the team took from the All-Star break on, and it was the perfect storm for Castro to have a disappointing year.
People who say that the Cubs need to trade him need to rethink their logic. First of all, he is still just 23 years old. Second, he is at the lowest value that he can possibly be; he just had the worst season of his major league career.
Not to compare him to a Hall of Famer, but the last time the Cubs hastily traded a promising player who was struggling in his 20s, he went on to become a bona fide superstar for the rival St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cubs need to be patient because Castro has all of the tools to still be a perennial All-Star.
With the addition of Spanish-speaking manager Rick Renteria, Castro should feel more comfortable. The front office made that a point of emphasis when hiring a new coaching staff, and it should benefit him.
It's clear that he still needs to work on his maturity and his issues throwing the ball to first base from shortstop, but with less distractions and the motivation to rebound from a bad year, Castro has plenty of reasons to return to All-Star form in 2014.