Chicago Cubs starting catcher Welington Castillo has been the standout of the organization so far in Cactus League play. He showed positive signs late in 2012 when he started to work as the full time catcher for the team in the MLB, and seems to have come into the preseason in good shape and seeing the ball very well.
Although the preseason has basically only just begun, Welington Castillo has appeared in four games for the Chicago Cubs and has managed to hit a home run, drive in two runs, walk twice, score two runs, and compile an AVG of .429, an OBP of .556, SLG of .857 and total OPS of 1.413. Although not a lot can be derived from statistics over four games in the preseason, he has clearly been the offensive standout for the team in limited Cactus League play so far.
Welington Castillo isn’t projected to be the next Johnny Bench, but his numbers in the minor leagues suggest he has very good power, and overall great offensive numbers for a catcher. During his tenure in the minor leagues of the Chicago Cubs organization, Castillo has compiled a total SLG of .424 and OPS of .750. Most notably, however, is that his numbers have actually been the best in AAA, as he has 34 home runs there in 617 at-bats and a total OPS of .831 there. It is a very positive sign that as the player develops and moves up the ladder of the minor league system he is actually improving his offensive numbers rather than having them drop off as the quality of his competition improves.
With the Chicago Cubs offensive struggles in past years, having a catcher that has the potential contribute above average defense along with 20+ home runs will be a huge plus for the organization once they push through this current rebuilding process. With the general disappointment of Geovany Soto‘s career arch as the Chicago Cubs number one catcher, fans of the team are really hoping that Welington Castillo will be the catcher of the future. If he keeps up the quality of work he has done in this preseason so far, things are looking good.