Evaluating Starlin Castro's Plate Discipline

Ron CoomerContributor IMay 10, 2010

MESA, AZ - MARCH 04:  Starlin Castro #67 of the Chicago Cubs at bat against the Oakland Athletics during the MLB spring training game at HoHoKam Park on March 4, 2009 in Mesa, Arizona. The Cubs defeated the A's 9-3.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Starlin Castro, the current Cubs narwhal , has become the subject of much cyber man-love due to his breakout performance, but is he really the Cubs' next savior, or will he be Corey Patterson circa 2010?

Certainly enough, Cubs fans are already putting too much pressure on the top prospect.

Castro made the (questionable) jump from Double-A to the big leagues, and while he showed excellent bat skills, his eye came into question.

Let's look at some of his plate discipline numbers so far.

Castro has yet to earn a walk, so far, but that is certainly not alarming, as he's only had 12 plate appearances, so I'm not going to get into "counting numbers," as the sample sizes are far too small.

What I am interested in is his tendencies at the plate, for they paint a bit better picture.

Castro swings 45.2 percent of the time, just about in line with the league average. Looking further, you will see that he has been attacking pitches in the zone, with a 70.6 zone swing percentage (63.3 percent average), while laying off those outside, mustering a 14.3 percent outside swing percentage, both numbers well above average.

The results of those swings are something of a mixed bag.

Of his swings at outside pitches, he has made contact every time.

Yes, 100 percent. However, pitches in the zone, he has made contact just 83.3 percent (88.2 percent average.) Overall, he has made slightly above average contact.

So looking at this data, we can gather that when he swings at outside pitches, which is rare, he makes contact. Against pitches in the zone, he is very aggressive, but makes below average contact.

Castro has shown a good eye thus far, but he will need to make some adjustments on balls in the zone to make the next step as a productive young player.