After appearing in 52 games in 2012, Wellington Castillo should play in 100-110 games this year. The trade of Geovany Soto means the starting job is Castillo’s to lose, although Steve Clevenger will get some starts and see some late game time. However, Castillo should have plenty of opportunity to show his skills behind the plate. It would be very nice to see Castillo progress defensively this year and he will have plenty of opportunity to show off his arm, being that the Cubs ranked last in the NL last year in walks.
I ran a linear projection for Castillo’s offensive stats for this year and it is shown below. (By linear, I mean that I assumed Castillo would perform at the same rate, just for more games.)
I looked at the Rotochamp projections for Castillo and a linear projection is very similar to what that software is seeing. What this tells me is that, with Castillo, what you have seen is what you get. It doesn’t appear that he is going to progress much offensively. Also, his BABIP last year was 0.348 and I feel like this isn’t sustainable. So, I would say his 0.265 batting average is projecting a little higher than what will really happen next year.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, they have no other catchers that seem to me to be worth getting excited about in the minors. When the time comes for the Cubs to contend, I’m not sure Castillo will be the guy handling the catching duties. However, with the Cubs not contending this year and probably not in 2014 either, that need can be addressed in free agency down the road.