Willy Castro might be more familiar than you think – which young player should we be most optimistic about going forward?

The Minnesota Twins just lately signed Willy Castro to a junior contract. He will not be the shortstop on Opening Day, probably will not make the group, and in an ideal world, probably will not see the key leagues in 2023. Having seen a not-so-perfect 2022, he gives depth in a number of positions and has some attention-grabbing abilities of word. Digging, I discovered some attention-grabbing issues about Castro that I would prefer to share and located him to be a extra acquainted participant than I first thought.

Function picture through Tom Hagerty

To this point in his profession, Willy Castro has not been a really productive participant in Main League Baseball. With simply over 300 video games and 1,000 plate appearances, he has chipped .245/.292/.381 (.673 OPS) at 4.7% BB%, 24.1% Okay%, 86 wRC+, and -22 complete DRS (Defensive rounds saved) at six completely different places with 2,338 rounds and 1.6 fWAR. To not be redundant, however he is been comparatively ineffective to this point, which is why he was DFA’d by the Detroit Tigers and will solely get a minor league contract.

So why ought to the twins make investments? For starters, minor league contracts carry virtually no dangers, which suggests if the Twins lower him quick mid-season, there could be no detrimental penalties. Castro is a change hitter who has fared considerably higher towards left-handed pitching (. 711 profession OPS vs. LHP – .658 OPS vs. RHP). The Twins had been on the lookout for a more practical at bat towards left-handed pitchers, and he had main league expertise in six positions: 2B, SS, 3B, and all three outfield positions. As well as, Castro additionally has some eye-catching athletic metrics. Based on Statcast, his most exit pace in his profession is 115.4 MPH, which was the ninety fifth percentile in 2021. Statcast data his dash pace in 2022 because the 78th percentile, and his arm energy is recorded on the 87th percentile, together with his hardest throw being 97.0 MPH.

Are you able to consider any Twins gamers who look conversant in Willy Castro?

The participant that got here to my thoughts is Danny Santana. Each gamers entered the key leagues with a success, however their groups finally moved on after each gamers failed to duplicate their scorching begin. Santana bounced again within the minor leagues and re-emerged as a utility man with one other breakout season in 2019 however was largely unproductive exterior of 2014 and 2019. Castro was distinctive in 2020 however has been comparatively unproductive since then and he’s following in Santana’s footsteps by Attempt to survive in the principle as a utility man. He has scored about 800 extra video games than Castro, however their profession numbers are related in sure areas.

Listed here are some very shut stats for Castro and Santana:

(Castro) (Santana)

OBP: .292 .296

BB%: 4.7% 4.8%

Okay%: 24.1% 25.6%

wRC+: 86 85

xwOBA (league common 316): 296,290

Z-swing % (league common 66.9%): 75.0% 74.5%

O-Swing% (league common 28.4%): 39.8% 36.9%

Swing proportion (league common 47.1%): 56.7% 55.3%

Euphoria proportion (league common 24.7%): 29.2% 29.7%

DRS in SS: -13 (696 rounds) -15 (918 rounds)

Operating Velocity: 78th percentile (2022) 74th percentile (2021)

Arm energy: 87th percentile (2022) 96th percentile (2021)

What distinguishes these numbers? The gamers’ similarities are the self-discipline of the plate and the bat’s means to hit the ball. These gamers swing freely, pitch low, and hit medium with good uncooked energy that hasn’t totally translated into recreation energy, probably as a result of plate self-discipline or strategy causes. In addition they examine equally to athletes and defensemen at shortstop.

How do they differ as gamers? Castro and Santana use their sports activities model very otherwise. Santana, all through his profession, has 20 completely different stolen seasons and has a 75/101 (74.3% success charge); Castro has stolen solely 18 bases and is eighteen/28 (64.2% success charge) in his profession. Santana additionally sought a bit extra energy than Castro had hitherto possessed; Santana’s profession SLG is .413, Castro is at .381 with an ISO (SLG minus BA, common league .183) saying the identical factor; Santana at .159 and Castro at .136. Castro’s athleticism interprets extra to the defensive aspect of the ball. Whereas not one of the gamers hooked on the SS, Willy Castro has turned himself right into a viable defensive choice on the sphere, one thing Santana by no means received round to. DRS (0), UZR (0.1), and OAA (-1) all agree that with 724 innings pitched, Castro is a mediocre starter within the league. It is much less decisive for Santana however total low, totaling 1,945 runs, together with his DRS at -7, UZR at -1.1, and OAA at 1.

This transfer by the Twins bears a detrimental connotation given the best way the nuisance has gone to this point however attempt to not let their failure in a single space (or participant) affect your judgment of Castro. He is received some fairly tantalizing physicals in addition to success spurts within the main leagues, to not point out that Detroit is without doubt one of the friendliest parks in baseball. A take care of that type of promotion on a minor league contract is nice for the Twins. Whereas the reward for this signing appears ambivalent as a result of ideally he by no means leaves St. Paul, we’ll probably see Castro in some unspecified time in the future as a result of his versatility and inevitability of accidents. Whether or not you are a fan of the transfer or not, I hope this nugget was enjoyable for you in a roundabout way, and I sit up for studying your ideas on Willy Castro.

Hyperlinks and definitions of some lesser-known stats:

xwOBA: https://www.mlb.com/glossary/statcast/icted-woba


Z% swing, O% swing: https://library.fangraphs.com/offense/plate-discipline/

Freshness Ratio: Whole swings and errors/Whole swings

DRS: https://library.fangraphs.com/protection/drs/



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