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RedRamage

How much longer do we wait for Castellanos?

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Excellent article. I'm glad his improvement in fielding is being recognized. Now, they just need to fix one of the worst hitters in baseball.

I thought it was interesting that the two RBI came on a pitch way out side the zone that he usually can't reach with the big swing, but that he apparently was looking for and so was able to reach out and serve into RF. I guess it all came down (in the immortal words of Magglio) to him deciding not to try to do too much. If it's only his thought process that is holding him back, hopefully that is easier to change than him being up against some physical/neurological limit.

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There's truth here and I don't claim to be any great baseball guru. I guess I just look at the finished product and if it's continuously bad... that sorta naturally leads a person to look at the head of that area.

The thing is you simply can't base whether a hitting coach is doing a good job or not based on how hitters are performing because there are other plausible explanations why hitters are doing poorly, not the least of which is the hitter(s) in question simply might not be that good anymore. Also a coach cannot make a batter adopt his approach. Most MLB players are understandably protective of their fundamental skill set because it got them to the show, after all.

Another consideration is these MLB hitters have taken so many swings in their life that it is unlikely to very unlikely that a significant change in a swing will stick and yield positive results. There really aren't that many examples of a guy getting 'fixed' because of a hitting coach had an idea or a drill that rectified a previously un-rectified flaw.

What I think hitting coaches typically do in the majors, in general is:

a. Understand each batter's strengths and weaknesses.

b. regularly review video and try to pick out (meaningful) positive things batters were doing when things were going well and not doing when things are going poorly (still on the player to make the minor adjustment(s), incidentally),

c. reinforce what batting approach he and the team wants the player to take in general in the context of his strengths and weaknesses.

c. recommend drills and refinements related to points a, b and c.

Edited by Mr. Bigglesworth

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Then again, there are those who say that hitting coaches don't matter.

I am not sure there are those that say this.

Edited by Mr. Bigglesworth

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I thought it was interesting that the two RBI came on a pitch way out side the zone that he usually can't reach with the big swing, but that he apparently was looking for and so was able to reach out and serve into RF. I guess it all came down (in the immortal words of Magglio) to him deciding not to try to do too much. If it's only his thought process that is holding him back, hopefully that is easier to change than him being up against some physical/neurological limit.

The fact that he has been able to improve his defense over the offseason is encouraging to me. He'd never been mistaken for a gold glove candidate. His calling card was always going to be his bat. Its frustrating to see him still struggle at the plate because it'd be easy to assume that that's where his improvements would come easier and more quickly. But if he took his defense to heart and made strides with it, I think he definitely deserves a chance to figure it out at the plate.

The kid is only 23 and he's only the 7th or 8th place hitter in a lineup that shouldn't need too much production out of him. I think its too early to give up on him.

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My thoughts on Nick. He probably needs to re-tool his entire swing. It feels like he's zapping himself of so much natural power by trying to inside out every pitch. I would also abandon the whole choke up and spread out with 2 strikes thing he does. He has such poor pitch recognition and place discipline, that he's often in a 2 strike spot most ABs.

IMO taking 3 healthy hacks every AB is gonna produce better results, a few more K's be damned.

He's had a year and a half now and he isn't showing an improvement in any aspect of hitting. Not a good sign.

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My thoughts on Nick. He probably needs to re-tool his entire swing. It feels like he's zapping himself of so much natural power by trying to inside out every pitch. I would also abandon the whole choke up and spread out with 2 strikes thing he does. He has such poor pitch recognition and place discipline, that he's often in a 2 strike spot most ABs.

IMO taking 3 healthy hacks every AB is gonna produce better results, a few more K's be damned.

He's had a year and a half now and he isn't showing an improvement in any aspect of hitting. Not a good sign.

Especially since hitting is his only possible help to the team. I mean, he's not in there for his glove or base running ability.

I guess we didn't know how good we had it with Inge.....

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I give him to the end of the year, if he doesn't make any progress offensively than I think you just have to assume that he isn't going to make it. It sucks because the Tigers haven't had many premium position prospects the last 10-15 years so Castellanos seems like a big deal. But guys of his caliber bust all the time and if he doesn't show any improvement by the end of the year maybe it's time the Tigers just accept that.

If that does happen it will be too bad because the Tigers basically let Peralta leave without getting any compensation because they believed in Nick.

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You have to assume that, at age 23, he's not gonna make it? Seriously?

How many major leaguers that don't play an up the middle position or play excellent defense have made it after hitting as poorly as Castellanos their first 2 and half seasons?(assuming he doesn't put it together this year) I would venture to say very few. I'm not saying that he wouldn't end up making it, but you can't just keep going expecting him to turn it around, you have to assume the worst. I'm not saying to DFA him but you should atleast try to look for improvements at 3B.

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You have to assume that, at age 23, he's not gonna make it? Seriously?

He's still two years younger than McCann.

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How many major leaguers that don't play an up the middle position or play excellent defense have made it after hitting as poorly as Castellanos their first 2 and half seasons?(assuming he doesn't put it together this year) I would venture to say very few. I'm not saying that he wouldn't end up making it, but you can't just keep going expecting him to turn it around, you have to assume the worst. I'm not saying to DFA him but you should atleast try to look for improvements at 3B.

How about JD Martinez? He did it his first 3 seasons. And he didn't debut until 23, which is Nicks current age. When JD was 24 and 25, he posted OPS' of .685 and .650.

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I haven't given up on him but the problem once again for us, is depth. We have no choice but to put him out there everyday. Who's to say if 3 or 4 weeks at AAA would give him time to set himself straight, but, unfortunately 34 yr old Josh Wilson (.229/.280/.318 career) and 29 yr old Andrew Romine (.244/.297/.278 career) aren't going to fare any better then a struggling Castellanos. We know what Romine and Wilson are, and they aren't the answer, even temporarily.

Edited by rhino

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How about JD Martinez? He did it his first 3 seasons. And he didn't debut until 23, which is Nicks current age. When JD was 24 and 25, he posted OPS' of .685 and .650.

JD is not a great comparison. His transition to a useful player after his early struggles was considered a pretty big outlier.

And I still think you putting too much stock into age. That's fine, but I think professional experience is a much more important factor. Nick has been a pro since 2010.

JD's experience in his late teens and early 20s was playing scrubs for a few months a year at nova southeastern college.

I would prefer to see a comparison with a similar development record (drafted out of high school, debut in early 20s and struggle for a couple years then figure it out in year 3).

I'm sure there are some examples, but my guess is that most guys who struggle their first couple years don't end up figuring it out.

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Ok, Adam jones is one example. He sucked at 22 but figured it out at 23.

Aramid Ramirez sucked at 22, figured it out at 23, and sucked again at 24.

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How many major leaguers that don't play an up the middle position or play excellent defense have made it after hitting as poorly as Castellanos their first 2 and half seasons?(assuming he doesn't put it together this year) I would venture to say very few. I'm not saying that he wouldn't end up making it, but you can't just keep going expecting him to turn it around, you have to assume the worst. I'm not saying to DFA him but you should atleast try to look for improvements at 3B.

Doing searches at B-Ref I could not find many of them. It's impossible to get a complete list because you can't do partial seasons, but here are some players who struggled in their first 650 PA and then became good hitters:

Carlos Gomez

Carl Crawford

Michael Brantley

Mike Moustakos

Brandon Moss

Adam Jones

Aramis Ramirez

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I think Castellanos needs a hitting coach. I recommend that when the Tigers are in Detroit, that somehow he get a visit from Leon Durham. Maybe one time during each home series. I think Bull could

help straighten the kid out. Obviously, Wally isn't having much of an impact.

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Castellanos swings too much, makes too little contact, and hits for too little power.

If I were him I'd go about fixing 1 thing at a time, maybe start taking more pitches.

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With several provisos**, I think there is general agreement about the following:

- Nick had a somewhat disappointing year with the bat last year, and a horrible year with the glove last year

- Nick has improved quite a bit with the glove this year (**although yeahbuddy seemed to disagree with this and might still disagree with this),\

- Nick has regressed with the bat this year

- Nick was seen until this year as a guy with a "plus" hitting upside -- good average, reasonable on-base, decent power...and that he still has that ceiling.

- absent some turnaround this year that he will have gone from top prospect to a project, less like Amaris Ramirez and more like a highly touted bust, although it may be too early to write him off (**Shelton and several others have written Nick off already).

That having been said, I'm still going to root for him, I think he has a even shot at being an average 3bman, and I will hope that he hits his upside, even if I don't really expect either outcome anymore like I did before this year.

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Now hold on, I have not written him off.

I think he still has a decent chance to be a good hitter. I just think that at this point there are serious doubts about him doing so.

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I still believe in Nick, but it's getting to the point where a 2 week or so stint in Toledo is probably worth a shot. Maybe it helps his confidence at least. Wilson/Romine/Machado won't be much worse than Nick there, for a short spell.

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I know its usually too much to ask for a guy to make a major change as late in his life as having already made the ML, but I don't like guys standing straight up in the box like Nick (and Avila). Sure there are guys who are successful with it, but I think they are the exception to the rule. When you see a guy with contact problems who starts with his head so high, you just have to wonder if he wouldn't benefit from lowering his head so he could get his vision into the hitting plane sooner and have it there stationary longer. The one thing in hitting that there is near universal agreement on is that you cannot hit if you can't get your head still and usually Nick's head is still moving (down) well into his swing. I would prefer to have him either start lower or find a timing trick to get to his load position sooner. In fact this is something Avila was actually trying to do this season but hadn't made much progress with before the knee issues took him out.

For me right now this is the biggest counter point to the other hitting skills Nick has flashed.

Edited by Gehringer_2

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Now hold on, I have not written him off.

I think he still has a decent chance to be a good hitter. I just think that at this point there are serious doubts about him doing so.

OK, I stand corrected. I didn't review posts from the several threads, but I thought I recalled you saying that he "sucked" or something like that.

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OK, I stand corrected. I didn't review posts from the several threads, but I thought I recalled you saying that he "sucked" or something like that.

Oh, that's correct. He sucks. I'm not sure how that is disputable.

Doesn't mean he won't at some point not suck.

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