Starlin Castro Sets Bar A Bit Too High in Gold Glove Hopes
Starlin Castro, the young superstar shortstop of the Chicago Cubs, indicated in a recent interview on cubs.com that it is his ambition to take home his first Gold Glove award in the 2013 season. Presumably inspired by second baseman and teammate Darwin Barney‘s win, Castro plans to make this the year he wins the same award.
Although most Chicago Cubs fans will be glad to see Starlin Castro set high goals for himself, it may be slightly naive to expect a shortstop whose defense has previously been pretty awful to suddenly turn things around so drastically that he wins the top defensive prize. Notably, the Gold Glove award is rarely given to someone whose defense is their only weapon–there are some exceptions to this rule, but between two excellent defenders, their offensive numbers are often treated as a tiebreaker. For Castro, this bodes well because his hitting is getting better every season and gives him an edge in that department.
Unfortunately, Castro has a long way to go to become a premier defensive shortstop. He has shown in the past that lack of focus causes him to fumble balls that should be purely routine. Last season, he made 27 errors, good for the highest number in the league among shortstops for the second season in a row. No one doubts that Castro isn’t trying hard. He clearly loves to play baseball. The problem seems to be letting his mind go ahead before his body, such as thinking about the throw to first base before the ball is safely in his glove.
With a lot of work and some maturing, Starlin Castro may very well get to that level some day in the future, but it is unlikely that it will happen in 2013.