Starlin Castro Can Run, but Can He Walk?

Ron CoomerContributor IApril 18, 2010

PEORIA, AZ - MARCH 11:  Starlin Castro #67 of the Chicago Cubs bats against the San Diego Padres during the MLB spring training game at Peoria Stadium on March 11, 2010 in Peoria, Arizona. The Cubs defeated the Padres 8-7.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Starlin Castro , arguably the Cubs' top prospect, is flashing the potential to hit at the big-league level early in the season. The Tennessee Smokie shortstop is currently hitting .342, with a .500 slugging percentage helped by his two triples in eight games.

Castro, however, boasts only a .350 on-base percentage due to only one walk on the season, so far. The lack of patience is troublesome for the 20-year-old, who projects as a lead-off hitter.

There is little question about his ability to hit for contact, but when the young shortstop goes through stretches of poor batting average on balls in play, his ability at the plate will surely suffer.

Castro needs to improve this area of his game, particularly because of his ability on the base paths.

Castro has stolen 51 bases in his three professional seasons, while being caught 18 times. There is little doubt about his aggressiveness when on base, and he is definitely showing improvement there.

In Daytona (High-A) last season, he stole 22 bases, but was caught 11 times. Upon his promotion to Double-A, he stole 6 bases without being caught in 31 games. Already in 8 games this year, he has stolen 4, without being caught.

In order to take the next step and show he can play at the big league level within the next two years, he will need to make progress with his batting eye.