Heading in to the 2013 season, there was not much expected out of the Chicago Cubs. President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein and General Manager Jed Hoyer have made no secret that the team is in the middle of a rebuild. The most important thing to look for while watching the Cubs this season is progress from young players like Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo and Jeff Samardzija. In his first full season in the majors Rizzo is only hitting .254 but he has 10 homeruns with 39 RBI. Not great numbers but good for a guy in his first full season. In his second season as a starting pitcher, Samardzija is only 3-7 but his 3.18 ERA and 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings indicates that he has been much better than his win-loss record shows.
Even though he is the youngest player of the bunch, Castro is looked at as the veteran. 2013 is his third full season in the majors and he also had a season where he played for over half of the year with the Cubs. Castro has been around a while, especially when you consider that he is only 23-years-old. The young shortstop is currently having the worst statistical season of his young career. Castro is hitting a shockingly bad .243 and showing little to no power with a slugging percentage of only .339. Obviously, Castro is a key part of the Cubs as they look to build for the future. As a 23-year-old player who plays a premium position and has had past success, Castro is a very valuable asset. That being said, if he continues to struggle, I feel like we have to worry about his future.
I am hopeful that Castro will turn around his season. He has been dropped to the seventh spot in the order and seems to be changing his batting stance a little bit. Obviously, manager Dale Sveum and his staff are working hard to get Castro back on track. He seems to be making less movement in the batters box now. Sometimes it is just a simple glitch in your stance that can be corrected. One thing is for sure, the Cubs are working tirelessly to figure it out. I think Castro will be just fine, he is still a young player that has some growing to do. I have always thought that Castro was rushed to the majors too quickly. He is still learning and he is doing it at the highest level, so his mistakes are always magnified. The talent is definitely there, Castro just needs to adjust and he will be just fine.