Wednesday, May 19, 2010

And here's your daily dose of depression

Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein has this Insider-Only rundown of Eddie's Farm:

Pirates and Royals fans think they have it bad, and their long-term history of losing seasons is worthy of their misery, but if one were to take a snapshot right now, and ignore the past, no team in baseball has a more bleak future than the Houston Astros...

Even the one player who was expected to help in 2010, catcher Jason Castro, likely will not be ready anytime soon. The 2008 first-round pick ended up more than a bit overrated coming into the year, based on a somewhat fortunate showing at the high-octane environment of Lancaster in the California League. During the second half of 2009, his lack of true power was exposed, and that trend has continued into 2010, as he's batting a strange .260/.389/.298 for Round Rock. Plate discipline has always been a strong point, but he has no above-average tools. Like all catchers, Castro is not a runner, but his line-drive swing has led to just four extra-base hits in 30 games for the Express, all of them doubles, and scouts don't see him hitting more than 10-12 homers per season long term, while his defense, like the rest of his game, is solid, yet unspectacular.


OremLK said...

He's severely underrating every element of Castro's game. Castro won't hit for a ton of power, but he'll hit for more than he's shown so far at Round Rock, perhaps around ML average or a tick below. He has good bat speed and a clean LD swing.

That plate discipline is more important than he thinks. The typical concern with catchers is that they are an automatic out (see Humberto Quintero). Give me a .400 OBP catcher and I don't care how much power he has, I'm sold on him being a solid major league contributor.

As for his defense? Many have said he is an elite, plus-plus defender, and I've even heard it said he has a chance to be the best defensive catcher in the majors.

Don't count on him to save the franchise, but Castro should be a solidly above average player for us for years to come.

tpack said...

Lazy analysis. He was always more likely to help next year, and even if he was ready this year it's not like he'd be putting us over the top.

Castro's batting almost 70pts higher in May than April, and his slugging % is 100 pts higher. He also walks more than he strikes out. His May OPS, .745, isn't amazing, but it's not depressing. The adjustment from April to May shows improvement.

I think it's great the Astros are letting him play in AAA. If he keeps improving, he could be very good. Goldstein's article is the usual Astro-hater easy bullshit article.

The Constable. said...

Both extremely valid comments...