Yesterday, Diamondback’s GM Kevin Towers announced that top prospect Archie Bradley will not receive a major league call up, and today, the Tigers made a similar announcement concerning their own cheif prospect. Manager Jim Leyland informed MLB.com reporters that 21 year old 3B/OF is unlikely to make the Tigers postseason roster.
After Castellanos, who ranked 14th on our preseason top prospect list, was called up to the Majors on September first, it was conceivable that he could have shot at the postseason roster. Coming off an 18 homer season in AAA, Castellanos looked to get time at third base, filling in for a then-injured Miguel Cabrera, and in left for the flagging Andy Dirks. Cabrera, however, has turned healthy since the call up and the Tigers have opted to keep playing Dirks in the outfield, leaving Castellanos with a meager 13 at bats and no opportunity to prove himself.
Despite the apparently negative air of this announcement, Castellanos being passed over should be taken as a jab at his potential. Nick has been at the top of the Tiger’s prospect radar since 2011, when he was taken 44th overall out of high school (the same pick with which the Reds took Joey Votto eight years prior), and he has been featured in Baseball America’s top 100 prospect list since 2011. His best tool is his bat, as his eagle-like batting eye and strong rotation projects plus power and .300+ average. His stats backup the scouting. Castellanos his .320 with 10 home runs last year between A+ and AA, and collected a career high 18 homers and 54 walks in AAA this season.
While not equivocally promising anything, Leyland hinted that Castellanos could be in the starting lineup as soon as the start next year. “”I would say that he’d come into Spring Training next year with an opportunity to make this club,” the grisly old manager told MLB.com.