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Minnesota Twins catcher Jason Castro’s job has never been more important than it will be to start this season. Castro will have to help this rotation weather the storm until Ervin Santana returns from injury.
Castro had an adequate first season with the Twins in 2017. However, he is an average Major Leaguer at best and expecting more from him would be foolish. He doesn’t do any one thing spectacular, but he is the best option Minnesota has on the roster.
Castro played in 110 games for the Twins during the ’17 season and hit .242 in 407 plate appearances. However, Castro does not provide a lot of run production or hit a lot of home runs. He hit only 10 home runs while driving in 47 runs last season and Minnesota will need more from him in 2018.
Defense has never been his calling card and last season was no different. He did commit only three errors and allowed only five passed balls. However, he allowed 42 stolen bases in 57 attempts last season, giving him a paltry 24% caught stealing. That number will have to be better in order for the Twins to contend this season.
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What to expect from Castro in ’18
If Castro has been anything throughout his MLB career it is consistently mediocre. There’s no reason to think that the ’18 season will be much different for him. His career on-base percentage sits over .300, so at least he gets on base once in a while. However, he strikes out far too much to be relied upon offensively.
For Castro to make an impact this season he will have to improve behind the plate defensively. The Minnesota Twins don’t need Castro to be an offensive force, they have plenty of capable bats within their lineup. However, they do need him to control the running game better, especially early in the season.
With Santana out to start the year, the Twins have Jake Odorizzi and a bunch of unproven pitchers in their rotation. Catcher is the most important position on the field and Castro needs to up his level of play for the Twins to reach the postseason.
Mitch Garver has a chance to take some at-bats away from Castro this season and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Garver is a younger player with a much higher upside offensively than Castro. If Castro struggles early, the Minnesota Twins shouldn’t hesitate to give Garver more time behind the plate.
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