We may have already analyzed and dissected young Starlin Castro beyond the ad nauseum stage.
Castro's name is almost always mentioned whenever the subject of the Cubs is discussed. You can usually find his name in a column or as the subject on sports talk shows. His own manager even seems to find a way to keep his name in the news. The talk predictably usually turns to his lack of mental focus (thanks Bobby V) or about changing his position (ad more nauseum).
We all know the young shortstop is talented but some think he hasn’t scratched the surface of his potential just yet.
Are we expecting too much of Castro?
I’m as guilty as anyone when it comes to playing the comp game. Castro has been compared to names like Derek Jeter and Miguel Tejada ever since he arrived on the scene.
When I first heard of Castro, I immediately asked about a comparison and was told Edgar Renteria. I was good with that. Renteria was a very good shortstop on some very good teams. Some may be disappointed with that comparison after all the hype that has come. The question is whose fault is that?
Is Castro a victim of over-hype? Or at 23, is he simply just not a finished product? There are many who think he should be by now. Maybe there is some truth to that.
However, yesterday I was watching a sports talk show and one of the panelist said he was disappointed in Castro's numbers. He thought Castro would be providing some 35 home run like numbers. Huh? Castro may start to hit for more power soon, but where does this stuff come from?
He also may never be a guy with an on base percentage over .320. If he were to be hitting fifth or lower in a better line up, could he just concentrate on doing what he does? Let’s not forget Castro entered Tuesday night's game against the Pirates with 579 career hits and a career batting average of .295.
John and I talk all the time about the intense scrutiny this player is under. We wonder aloud if he was surrounded with a bit more talent if the media and fans would let up their laser beam focus a bit. I asked Comcast Cubs writer Patrick Mooney about Castro recently and he shared some similar thoughts.
I asked Mooney specifically if Castro was getting a fair shake in this town.
“Eh, yes and no. There aren’t many players in that clubhouse who move the needle, so Starlin Castro inevitably gets most of the attention online, on talk radio and in the newspapers. Cubs managers have also singled him out for criticism. People underestimate how hard it is to make that leap from Double-A kid to .300-hitting All-Star shortstop. But as someone who likes Castro recently put it: It’s time to clean up the mistakes."
"This is Year 4 in the big leagues. The guess here is that Castro will raise his game in the heat of the pennant race when he’s surrounded by a better supporting cast (or part of the supporting cast and not ‘The Man’)."
That is pretty much it in a nutshell. Castro indeed moves the needle.
I just don’t understand why everyone is in such a hurry to move his position.