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Can Starlin Castro Make a Fantasy Impact?

Eric StashinSenior Writer IMarch 16, 2010

MESA, AZ - MARCH 01:  Starlin Castro of the Chicago Cubs poses for a photo during Spring Training Media Photo Day at Fitch Park on March 1, 2010 in Mesa, Arizona.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Despite the Cubs’ claims that top prospect Starlin Castro is destined to open the 2010 campaign in Triple-A, fantasy owners have to be taking close notice. He’s been absolutely raking in Spring Training, and let’s be honest, it’s not like the Cubs are loaded up the middle. 

The 20-year-old (he turns 20 on March 24) split 2009 between Single & Double-A, posting the following line:

469 At-Bats
.299 Batting Average (140 Hits)
3 Home Runs
49 RBI
56 Runs
28 Stolen Bases
.341 On Base Percentage
.392 Slugging Percentage
.332 Batting Average on Balls in Play

What You Need To Know

Baseball America ranked him as the Cubs No. 1 prospect for 2010, as well as 16th overall.

In regards to his ability at the plate, Baseball America said, “He has no trouble hitting breaking pitches, usually taking the first one from a pitcher he hasn’t seen before, sizing it up and attacking the next. Though he had just 32 extra-base hits in 2009, Castro has the power potential to double that total once he matures physically.”

Castro is still developing on the base paths, despite his stolen base total in 09. At Double-A he was just 22-for-33. He needs to be successful on a higher percentage of his attempts to fully maximize his potential.

He was fantastic in the Arizona Fall League, hitting .376 over 101 AB. He still showed little power, with just one home run (as well as five doubles and one triple). He was also 9-for-12 in stolen bases, showing some improvement there (he was also a perfect 6-for-6 at Double-A).

Castro does a fantastic job of making contact, striking out just 12.9 percent of the time in his minor league career. Unfortunately, he doesn’t walk much, at six percent. As he matures, he’ll learn how to take pitches instead of simply putting them in play.

Final Thoughts

The Cubs have said Castro will start the season at Triple-A, so fantasy owners outside of keeper leagues should not get too excited quite yet. Even if he is recalled, there’s no real guarantee that he’s going to be a usable option this season. We know he has not yet developed his power stroke and while the speed is there, it’s still a question mark.

If he is not hitting atop the lineup, how much would the Cubs even let him run?

He’s an elite prospect, and in a year or two he’s likely to be an extremely usable option in all formats. For now, he’s best left for keeper league owners until further notice.

What are your thoughts? Is Castro a player you think will have value in 2010? How good could he be?

If you would like to see a free preview of the Rotoprofessor 2010 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide (available for just $5) now including a Top 50 Prospects for 2010 List, click here.

For more looks at prospects, you can check out the following articles:

This article is also featured on WWW.ROTOPROFESSOR.COM.

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