Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is doing what every star player does: dream big.
Castro isn’t satisfied with just getting better; he wants to be the best. He believes that he’ll win multiple batting titles. And despite his MLB-leading 27 errors in 2012, the soon-to-be-23-year-old shortstop thinks he’ll win a Gold Glove—in 2013.
Castro is motivated after Darwin Barney won a Gold Glove for his wizardry at second base. Castro also believes that Anthony Rizzo can win a Gold Glove. If Barney and Castro make good throws to first base, then why can’t Rizzo win one?
Castro knows what to say. Can he back his words up? Or is he destined to change positions when Junior Lake or Javier Baez reach the 25-man roster?
It’s easy to overreact when one sees his errors totals. Since Castro made his MLB debut in May 2010, he has committed 83 errors. Those errors have been blamed on an inaccurate throwing arm, lack of concentration and inexperience.
Castro’s arm raises some concern. It may force him to change positions, preferably to outfield or second base (if Barney isn’t there). However, it’s worth noting that Ozzie Smith committed 69 errors in his first three seasons. From 1980-92, Smith went on to win 13 consecutive Gold Gloves.
Errors are easy to see. What’s not as noticeable is that he’s among the best at his position in range factor. Most shortstops can’t make the same plays on groundballs headed for an open gap. In 2012, Castro led all National League shortstops in assists (465) and putouts (266).
Remember this: Castro is 22 years old. He doesn’t turn 23 until March. His defense has improved in each season.
Sell those pitchforks and let the kid develop. A Gold Glove may very well be in this star’s future.