Prospect rankings primer
Last year's Tigers list
The Top Ten
1. Nick Castellanos
Height/Weight: 6’4” 210 lbs
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2010 draft, Archbishop McCarthy HS (Southwest Ranches, FL)
Previous Ranking: #1 (Org), #37 (Top 101)
2013 Stats: .278/.278/.278 at the major-league level (11 games), .276/.343/.450 at Triple-A (134 games)
The Tools: 6+ potential hit; 6 power potential; 6 arm
What Happened in 2013: As a 21-year-old, Castellanos played a full season of Triple-A baseball, working to refine his plus bat against more advanced pitching.
Strengths: Excellent hands at the plate; creates plus bat speed; has some leverage and lift; projects to hit for both average and power; strong arm; good athlete for size; aptitude for the game; some defensive versatility.
Weaknesses: Trigger can be a bit slow; swing can get long; struggles against quality arm-side velocity; some question the offensive projection (more solid-avg than impact); glove unlikely to play solid-avg at third; below-average profile in outfield corner.
Overall Future Potential: 6; first-division player
Realistic Role: 5; major-league regular
Risk Factor/Injury History: Low risk; ready for major-league challenge
Bret Sayre’s Fantasy Take: With a move back to the hot corner potentially on the horizon, Castellanos’ fantasy value takes a nice tick up as the eligibility is much sexier there. Even if he does switch back to third, there’s always the chance that his defensive performance there warrants a return to the outfield. Regardless, if he hits to his full potential he could be a near-.300 hitter with 20-plus homers and a lot of RBIs (as he’s more likely to be in a run-producing slot in the lineup).
The Year Ahead: Of all the prospects in the minors, Castellanos might receive the most mixed reviews, as he’s either a top-20 talent with future 6/6 hit/power at the major-league level, or he’s just an average player, a top 50 prospect that has some ability with the bat but not nearly the impact talent some project. I’ve seen it and I like it, but I tend to fall in the middle of the two camps; I think Castellanos is going to hit for a high average but I’m not sold the power shows up in the 25-plus home run range without selling out the contact to achieve it. While I don’t see a future 6/6 type, I do think he develops into a solid-average major-league player, and if he can stick around at third, there is a lot of value to be found in that profile.
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