Chicago Cubs catcher Welington Castillo is coming up on his 26th birthday and for the first time in his career, he will be in charge of a Major League pitching staff on opening day. Castillo comes into 2013 with 63 games under his belt. While he has average offensive skills, the Cubs will depend on him to call good games behind the plate.
Like all catchers, Castillo will need to understand the strengths of the batters he is facing along with what pitches are working for the guy on the mound. With a young and inconstant pitching staff, he will need to keep our pitchers focused and relaxed. He will need to be half catcher, half psychologist to have a successful year behind the plate. He needs to master the ability to look into his pitcher’s eyes and see when they have nothing left in the tank, but he also needs to know when they are just frustrated with their performance. Given everyone’s predictions for this season, that will happen quite often.
The Cubs have signed Castillo through the 2017 season, making a commitment to him because they see his potential. Although his offensive skills are average, his consistency gives the Cubs someone they can count on.
Castillo won’t hit for a lot of power, but at the bottom of the order, he should be able to get on base enough to drive in anyone who is left on the bases from the middle of the order. If he can continue to improve on gunning down stealing base runners, he will be a solid Major League catcher.
The success of Castillo’s career will depend on his ability, even at his young age, to work with our pitchers and find a way to guide the inconsistent hurlers.