We’ve talked about him a few times already this October, but it looks like Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is primed to be a stud major league ballplayer very soon. Castro finished up his Arizona Fall League season this week and impressed just about everybody he faced. In 26 games in the AFL, Castro batted .376. He was the youngest player on any team in the AFL and has moved his way through Single A and Double A ball very quickly. Overall, he played in 153 games during the 2009 baseball season. He racked up a whopping 570 at-bats, batting .312 with 4 HR’s, 7 triples and 28 doubles. He also stole 37 bases.
Darwin Barney is set to start at shortstop for the Cubs club at Triple A Iowa. Castro will likely start the season at the Double-A level, but could move from there depending on how well he plays to start the season. Oneri Fleita – the Cubs player devlopment director – would like to see the Cubs welcome Castro to Spring Training so that Manager Lou Pinella and the coaching staff can see him play with the rest of the club: “He’s very talented and really on some kind of fast track. Quite frankly, we haven’t had a player go through the organization like this in a long time. I think the last one was Mark Prior, and pitchers are a little different… Me, personally, I’d like to let the kid be a kid and let him go to Spring Training. When he’s ready to go, he’ll tell us. We’ll know what we’ve got.”
Great news Cubs fans. It feels like we haven’t had an all-star caliber player move through the minor league ranks and perform at the major league level for a long-time in a while. Carlos Zambrano is probably the most recent player to do that and be a productive member of the Cubs major league team for a long time. It would be great to Castro shine at the major league level at Wrigley Field very soon (we’ll have to figure out a plan for Ryan Theriot). Let’s keep our fingers crossed.