Tigers Scouting Report #1: Nick Castellanos

Tigers fans have gotten the opportunity to see Nick Castellanos on a daily basis so far in the 2014 season, but just how much development does Castellanos still have in him? The answer may surprise many.

Nick Castellanos


Position: Third Baseman

Date of Birth: 3/4/1992 (2014 Opening Day Age: 22)
Height/Weight: 6-4/210
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Acquired: 2010 MLB Draft, 1st Round
Ranking History: #1 (2014), #1 (2013), #2 (2012), #2 ( 2011)

Background: With a full-season debut in 2011, Castellanos posted a strong .312/.367/.436 line including 158 hits and a league leading 36 doubles as a teenager in the Midwest League. He followed that up with a .405 average in 55 games at High-A Lakeland before a move to Erie – and to the outfield – caused him to slump in the second half; leading to a .264 average, 15 doubles and 7 home runs in 79 games. He spent the 2013 season at Triple-A Toledo and posted a .276 average with 37 doubles and 18 home runs while playing as one of the youngest players in the league.


2013 Stats - Hitting
Toledo 5338114737118765410041.276.343.450
Detroit 181500000100.278.278.278

Scouting Report

Body: Big frame; lots of room for mass; still very lean; has added substantial raw strength since signing; not a polished athlete but moves well enough; solid coordination; really good frame and should end up with excellent physicality.

Hit: Gifted; natural hitter with instincts at the plate; likes to swing the bat early and often; believes he can drive everything; will swing at all types of pitches in all parts of the zone; still polishing approach at the plate; recognizes spin but still gets too eager and chases at times; learns from at-bat to at-bat; intelligent at the plate; develops an approach as he gets comfortable at a level; natural bat to ball skills; uses the entire field well; excellent driving ball to RCF gap; beginning to turn on the ball more; OBP will be driven by BA for entirety of career; average hitter now; could get to plus or even slightly better at peak; very talented offensive player; potential to hit .290-.300. Grade – Present 5/Future 6+

Power: Strength is there; has come into game action more in last 18 months; really drives the ball well the other way; can drive it out of the park to all fields; natural lift to his swing allows ball to carry over the fence; tons of doubles to back up home run power; should settle with 18-22 home runs a year (possibly more at peak) and 40+ doubles; middle of the order hitter with natural hitting ability for power to play to maximum potential; power has grown quickly and shows up even when he's struggling; loud sound off the bat; potential plus overall. Grade – 5/6

Speed: Below-average down the line; not a fluid runner; looked awkward running in OF at times; speed doesn't have to part of his game; won't take extra bases consistently; won't steal bases consistently; could slow down at physical maturity. Grade – 4/4

Defense: Transition back to 3B has been impressive; still generally below-average but significant improvements since A-ball defensive performance; comes in on the ball extremely well; moves adequately to both sides but doesn't have substantial range; hands have improved significantly; softer hands with ability to cradle ball and handle tough hops; good footwork; effort put in during off-season is obvious; still learning nuances of positioning and playing hops but making strides every day; chance to be average long term; will stick at position. Grade – 4/5

Arm: Playing well at position; always had natural strengths; mechanics and footwork are more consistent than ever; throws are very accurate; can make throws on the run with velocity and accuracy; arm can help cover some minor mis-steps with fielding; above-average and will play to grade long term. Grade – 5+/5+

Other: Baseball rat; loves the game; just goes about his business; has always cared himself like a big leaguer; loves to hit but has put in enough work with glove; won't be flashy superstar but really confident and capable player.

Final Word

Summary: The bat carries the profile; potential plus hit, plus power guy in the middle of the lineup with .290 average, 20 home runs and 40 doubles; top-shelf offensive contributor; glove could get to average; arm plays above average level; back at 3B, player has All-Star potential with chance to be one of the more impressive offensive players at his position in the game.

Risk: Low risk; Hitting comes naturally to him; already achieved MLB level; glove has surprised and he will stay on dirt.

Projection: All-Star level projection at MLB level now that he's back at 3B; should be at MLB level for good at this point; needs to adjust to speed of the game over first year and could explode in second season.

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