There has been plenty of talk in the past couple of years about all of these building blocks that the Chicago Cubs have acquired, some of which have already worked their way into the lineup. We know pieces like Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez figure into the long term plans for this club. But what about behind the plate?
The Cubs are an organization thin on catching. Despite several impact prospects throughout the system, in terms of their offensive ability, the Cubs lack really any options behind the dish. Which is why the development of Welington Castillo as the no. 1 guy was so important.
To this point, Castillo has done virtually everything he has had to do in order to lock down a spot for the future. He’s now mentioned in the same breathe as the likes of Rizzo and Starlin Castro as a key piece of this infield as they begin to come out of the rebuild and head into the years when they’re supposed to contend.
It hasn’t always been overly impressive, but the overall first full season as the starter for Castillo can easily be considered a success. His defense has been impressive, and he’s definitely locked down the position from that point of view. His defensive WAR is a solid 2.2 and he’s caught 29 percent of base stealers.
It’s what he’s done with the stick, though, that has really helped to establish him as a regular for the Cubs moving forward. He’s been consistent at the plate, improving as the year has gone on. His average is currently sitting at .274, along with a might impressive .357 on-base percentage. There isn’t much power to be had there, but he does get on base.
No one is expecting Castillo to be a star behind the plate. The Cubs hope they have plenty of those coming up through the minor league ranks right now. But there’s little doubt that he’s shown that he is capable of providing consistency, both at the plate and in the field, meaning that Welington Castillo is your no. 1 catcher on the North Side for the foreseeable future.