Nicholas Castellanos, Detroit Tigers
If it were up to Castellanos, he wouldn’t still be playing baseball for the Tigers right now, but that’s not how this MLB thing works, you guys. He and his agent asked, but they’re still waiting for a trade to happen.
The third baseman turned outfielder is in his final year of team control, and with a Detroit club that’s very much in the middle of a significant rebuild, he won’t be staying in the Motor City much longer -whether it’s sometime this year or next.
Coming off a career year in 2018, one would’ve imagined it was the best time for Detroit to maximize its return. In 678 plate appearances, Castellanos slashed .298/.354/.500 with 23 home runs and 89 RBI. He also produced a 130 wRC+ and 3.0 fWAR, both of which were single-season career-high marks.
He’s having another solid season thus far (113 wRC+ and 1.1 fWAR through 83 games played), but is certainly not on the same level as last year. Part of that likely has to do with a drop in both hard-hit rate (47.9% in ’18, 40.2% in ’19) and line-drive rate (28.8% in ’18, 23.3% in ’19).
The only reason he’s still a Tiger is his defense. His glove work has been worth a total of -31 Defensive Runs Saved throughout his career. Castellanos has improved his right-field defense quite a bit compared to last year, though, even if it is still on the negative side (-19 in ’18, -4 in ’19).
On track for a third consecutive losing season, Castellanos could really use some new surroundings to give him a jolt and watch his offensive numbers creep toward last year’s levels.