Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is supposed to be the reason that the Cubs turn things around. Considering they still haven’t had a winning season since 2008, I’d say that it hasn’t exactly gone according to plan.
He is a very talented player. There is no argument or debating about that.
He’s still a very young player, at 24, and that is something that we have to remember, and take into account, when we think about his ups and downs and his mental mistakes.
In fact, he was so young that when he was called up from Double-A in May 2010, he was the first MLB player that was born in the 1990’s.
He started that rookie season off with a bang, hitting a 3-run Home Run off of Cincinnati Reds pitcher Homer Bailey in his first career at-bat, and then hitting a bases clearing triple later in the same game, giving him 6 RBI’s in his first career game, which is a club record.
He followed up a stellar rookie season with 2 consecutive All-Star game appearances in 2011 and 12′, batting a career high .307 in 11′ and driving in a career high 78 runs in 12′, along with 12 triples.
I mentioned his mental errors, and let’s just say that he has had his fair share of brain farts.
There was the time he was given a “mental day off” by former Cubs manager Mike Quade for not paying attention on defense while the St. Louis Cardinals were actually batting in August 2011.
Ok, things happen. Sometimes you lose focus during the course of a 162-game season, no big deal.
But there was the time in June 2012 where he forgot how many outs there were against the Milwaukee Brewers, did not attempt the double play, and allowed a run to score.
Oh, and there was the time last season where he forgot how many outs there were (yes, again) in a game against the Cardinals, where he let a run score on a SAC Fly while the infield fly rule was in effect because instead of trying to throw the runner out, he just put his head down and let the run score, not knowing that there were only 2 outs.
2013 was a bad year for him overall, actually his worst as a pro. With his worst batting average (.245), career low in RBI’s (44), only a .284 OBP and .347 SLG percentage, he was due for a bounce back season.
He has done his part, batting .291 with 6 HR’s and 21 RBI’s, with a .475 SLG percentage and.808 OPS, which would both be career highs.
The problem is that he cannot pull this team out of the basement on his own. They have finished in last or second to last place in the NL Central every year since he has been with the team.
He is only 24, and it is good to see him have a good bounce back year knowing a lot of eyes were on him. If the team around him could be better, I expect this guy to be a star. He hasn’t even hit his prime yet, and that is scary.
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