Nick Castellanos is one of Major League Baseball’s top prospects so it’s no surprise he’s got a lot of people looking at him this spring. The Detroit Tigers’ best young prospect will be getting plenty of playing time in Spring Training this year after taking over the minors in 2012.
Even with all the attention and high expectations, Castellanos is still managing to surprise people. He’s played so well this spring that many fans want to see him playing with the big league squad this year which may be a little bit of an overreaction in my book. Nonetheless he’s hitting .667 with a homerun and three RBI. A very impressive start to Spring Training no doubt but there’s no reason to go crazy.
We all know Castellanos is talented and is going to be the future in the Tigers outfield, but he’s almost certain to start in the minors for another year at least. He’s only 20 years old for goodness sake; he has plenty of time to get to the majors. Last year when he was promoted to Double-A he had a major setback only hitting .264 after hitting .405 in Single-A ball. The point I’m trying to make is that he might not be ready for a full-time role on a major league team and the last thing the Tigers want to do is rush him.
I know as well as anyone that fans just want to see Castellanos in the Old English D but this situation needs to be treated carefully. One of my favorite movies is Moneyball, the story of the Oakland A’s and general manager Billy Beane (if you haven’t seen it, you MUST). In it they talk about young players and the pressures that are put on them to perform. Most of these young prospects have never failed at anything in their life so when you throw them into the majors and expect them to just learn on the fly they fail and may never be the player they could’ve possibly been.
I’m not saying that Castellanos will fail and I’m not saying he won’t, I’m simply saying that the Tigers don’t want to take that chance. Honestly, I think they are doing the right thing but only time will tell. He could possibly have an impact this year on the team but Detroit would rather bring him along slowly so that he can have an impact for years to come.