After two consecutive All-Star seasons, Starlin Castro's production drastically decreased in 2013. Because of his struggles, Castro has been the topic of much criticism of late.
Though he is signed through 2019 with a team option in 2020, Castro's future with the Cubs may be in jeopardy due to the team's arsenal of young infielders in the minors. Ranked as the No. 7 overall prospect for 2014 by MLB.com, shortstop Javier Baez could overtake Starlin Castro's job in the future. However, Castro's future lies in his own hands.
As Phil Rogers of MLB.com reported on Thursday, Castro's job is safe while the team develops their prospects. Among the possible options mentioned by Rogers is moving the shortstop to third base, but that seems rather unlikely with both Mike Olt and Kris Bryant coming up in the near future at the hot corner.
Rogers also mentioned a possible move to the outfield for some of their infield prospects—much like they did with Junior Lake—but the Cubs also have multiple outfield prospects as well, such as Albert Almora and Jorge Soler.
Castro must improve in 2014, and in many ways. For example, his .284 on-base percentage last year was only one point better than his batting average in 2012.
Here are the four most important aspects that Castro must improve upon this season.
Note: All statistics courtesty of Baseball-Reference.com