During the second half of the 2013 MLB season, the Houston Astros took their first step towards solidifying a future playoff contending team by locking up Jose Altuve for a while at second base. Granted it isn’t one of the ridiculous twelve-year deals or anything but it should keep Altuve where he is without tying the hands of the organization to spend money elsewhere. With that done there is speculation that they will try and do the same with catcher Jason Castro. They should do more than the same; they should do even better.
Castro had been a part of the Astros for parts of the 2011 and 2012 seasons but the 2013 season was really his first as a mostly full time catcher and major leaguer. He made the most of it and should draw comparisons to San Francisco Giants’ all-star catcher Buster Posey. Those comparisons might be closer than you think and that shows the value of Castro going forward. While Posey is still better defensively by a little bit, Castro is very comparable offensively.
During his first mostly full season in the majors, Posey hit for a .305 batting average, 18 home runs, 67 RBi and 58 runs scored in 108 games played. Compare to that the 120 game season of Castro this season where he hit for .276 batting average, 18 home runs, 56 RBI and 63 runs scored and you see how close they are. Add to that stat the WAR statistic and things get even closer. Posey’s rookie campaign saw him with a 3.7 WAR while Castro came up with a 4.5 WAR in 2013.
I don’t mean to suggest that Castro will definitely be putting up MVP numbers in a few years but the possibility is definitely there. He has proven that he is potentially one of the better offensive catchers in the game going forward and the Astros should not shrink away from paying him as such.