Is Castro The Cubs’ Future Leadoff Hitter?

CHICAGO (WSCR) — Starlin Castro remains to be the most exciting player on the Chicago Cubs, but he’s also the player with the more uncertain future.

There are some who see Castro as a second baseman instead of a shortstop. And for a while it looked like he was destined to hit in the middle of the lineup, that was until he was moved to the Cubs’ leadoff role.

“I don’t really know what his long-term spot is,” Ken Rosenthal, of FOX Sports, said on the Mully and Hanley Show. “I would guess middle of the order, becuase he looks like he’s going to be that kind of hitter with the power. But they’ve been screaming for a couple of years now that they don’t have a leadoff hitter, they just found a leadoff hitter.”

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On the season, Castro is hitting .418 with a home run, seven RBI and a 1.025 OPS. His numbers are even better when he hits leadoff: .563 batting average, one HR, five RBI and a 1.432 OPS.

“For now he’s [leading off],” Rosenthal said. “The lineup works well that way.”

The Cubs were forced to shuffle their lineup when Kosuke Fukudome suffered a minor injury and had to miss some time. The result of that shuffle was Castro hitting leadoff and second baseman Darwin Barney hitting in the two-hole.

“[Castro] has been one of the bright spots, “Rosenthal said. “Not just of the Cubs season, but of the baseball season. And it’s been really fun to watch him and Barney.”

Barney (.333 BA, five RBI and .835 OPS) has been almost as impressive as Castro.

The Cubs start a series with the San Diego Padres on Monday.

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  • tom Sharp

    Answer to the Castro question is “maybe.” This town’s sportswriters watch guy get hot for a week to 10 days and start sending him the Hall of Fame! Wait a few months and see what happens for a change!

    The question that is definitely rhetorical: Is Soriano the Village Idiot in a town of 2.5 million people? YES!!!

  • Jake from da burbs

    I have no problems having Castro and Barney as #1 and #2 in the lineup for this year. Just let both kids play full time no matter what. I like Jeff Baker but Barney has shown he can play in the big leagues and he has potential and its time to see if he has a future long-term with the Cubs.

    I see Castro’s long-term projection similar to that of Robinson Cano. Cano was a talented 2B who hit at the top of the Yankee lineup while struggling with his defense. He’s now a middle of the lineup, gold glove candidate. Its going to take Castro a few years and the Cubs should try and force anything.

    The key for Castro’s growth will be his defense and plate discipline. If he can do that, he’ll be a superstar and will be the face of the Cubs for the next decade. My biggest concern is that Castro’s “mentor” is Alfonso Soriano. Soriano has terrible habits on and off the field and I hate the fact that he is that close to Castro. Soriano single handedly reuined our last stud prospect Felix Pie. He set bad a bad example for Pie in not working hard and partying too much.

    I would rather Castro be set up with a guy like Carlos Pena who at least has a better head on his shoulders and would show Castro how to be a true leader in a clubhouse. The Cubs need Castro to take a Derrick Rose like leap in leadership over the next few years and like Lindsay Hunter, Pena might be a good guy to bring the young guy along.

    Regardless, it doesn’t matter where Castro’s hitting… the fact is that he’s hititng and he’s oh so good.

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