State of the Farm: “When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide where I stop and I turn and I go for a ride ‘till I get to the bottom and I see you again.”
Prospect rankings primer
The Top Ten
1. Nick Castellanos
Height/Weight: 6’4’’ 210 lbs.
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2010 draft, Archbishop McCarthy High School (Southwest Ranches, FL)
2012 Stats: .405/.461/.553 at High-A Lakeland (55 games); .264/.296/.382 at Double-A Erie (79 games)
The Tools: High-6 potential hit; 6 potential power; 6 arm
What Happened in 2012: Castellanos crushed it in High-A, before falling back to earth at the Double-A level, an advanced promotion for such a young player.
Strengths: Wiry strength on lengthy frame; room for additional strength; very fast bat; hands to command that bat; smooth trigger and bat path; stays in zone a long time; hit tool has well above-average potential; could develop into .300 hitter at highest level; line-drive stroke that could develop into above-average over-the-fence power in time; arm is stronger than people realize; easy 6 that can play in right field; good athlete; huge makeup.
Weaknesses: Double-A was huge test and exposed some weaknesses in present swing; struggled against arm-side pitching; expanded his zone and would chase; some question about pitch recognition and reaction; defensive profile is average at best; reads and routes in outfield still underdeveloped.
Overall Future Potential: 6; first-division player
Explanation of Risk: Moderate risk; failed in first stop at Double-A level, but good baseball skills and plus work ethic.
Fantasy Future: Might not develop prototypical corner power, but should hit for a high batting average and doubles pop; over-the-fence power could arrive late.
The Year Ahead: A full season of Double-A ball is on tap, and given his skill-set, makeup, and adjustment ability, Castellanos should take a big step forward in 2013 and put himself in the discussion for the 25-man roster in 2014. He has a really sweet swing from the right side, and even though he has some length, he has shown the ability to square velocity and shorten up in two-strike counts. Good hitters are likely to develop power as they mature, and Castellanos fits into this category. It’s a line-drive stroke, but as he grows into his body and finds rhythm in his swing, the strength and bat speed are there to lift balls over the fence. This is a very, very good offensive prospect.
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