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Is Starlin Castro the next Derek Jeter?

Mar 15, 2011, 9:34 AM EDT

Chicago Cubs v San Francisco Giants Getty Images

While the headlines from Cubs camp this spring have focused on Carlos Zambrano and Carlos Silva, Patrick Mooney at CSN Chicago has a nice feature on the guy who, more than any other, may catapult the Cubs back into relevance in the NL Central: Starlin Castro, who is being compared to Derek Jeter in Chicago, both from a marketing perspective and from a developmental perspective:

The marketing department at 1060 W. Addison St. wants to promote Starlin Castro as the next Derek Jeter. They paired the two homegrown shortstops on billboards modeled after heavyweight prize fights: Cubs vs. Yankees, June 17-19 at Wrigley Field … Cubs baseball staffers use the Jeter analogy in a much different context. They tell you to look up how many errors Jeter committed in the minors. That tension between patience and expectations can be felt through the entire organization.

The marketing stuff is fluff. Ultimately he’ll be no more marketable than his on-field performance allows him to be.  As for that performance: despite some defensive struggles and a come-to-Quade meeting regarding his focus this spring, Castro seems ready to break out. He was hitting .485 with a .500 on-base percentage and an .848 slugging percentage through this past weekend.

More significantly, he destroyed Double-A pitching last year and more than held his own as a 20-year-old in the bigs.  That’s roughly the same course Jeter took, though he didn’t truly produce in the bigs until his star-making age-22 season. In terms of production, Castro is a bit ahead of Jeter, actually.

There are big things coming from this guy.

  1. missthemexpos - Mar 15, 2011 at 10:23 AM

    If Castro really is the next Derek Jeter, he better start making room in his trophy case for all the gold gloves coming his way for outstanding (wink, wink) defense.

  2. BC - Mar 15, 2011 at 11:15 AM

    He sounds more like the next Hanley Ramirez. Way more power than Jeter it seems.

    • Travis Reitsma - Mar 15, 2011 at 12:07 PM

      I would say way more power…comparable maybe. And I don’t think he has the upside power of HanRam.

      Minor League SLG:
      Castro: .421
      Jeter: .418
      HanRam: .430

      And HanRam hit for much more home run power than both.

      • Travis Reitsma - Mar 15, 2011 at 12:08 PM

        Sorry…I “WOULDN’T”…

      • dfensfelix - Mar 15, 2011 at 12:26 PM

        Is it really necessary that we come up with all of these stupid 2-syllable nicknames for sports players all the time? HanRam, are you serious? You can literally do this with just about any player in any league. Let’s start calling Starlin Castro “StarCast”. Since Joaqim Soria is done with “The Mexicutioner”, we’ll just start calling him JoaqSor. And maybe we can come up with one for all the people that use these idiotic nicknames on a regular basis for all of these players: I’m thinking…….”D-Bag”

      • Travis Reitsma - Mar 15, 2011 at 12:37 PM

        Wow…alright. My bad, I didn’t realize I was being a D-Bag. I thought it was more laziness than anything. Sorry I’ve ruined your day so. I hereby change all of the “HanRams” to “Hanley Ramirezs”. Hopefully I’ve made it right.

      • Amsterdamned - Mar 15, 2011 at 12:49 PM

        Jeez, who crapped in dfensfelix’ Cheerios? Who gives a crap if someone calls him HamRam? Does it really effect you in any way shape or form enough to call someone a douche bag? Seems like thats a much douchier thing to do than calling Hanley Ramirez “HanRam”.

      • cur68 - Mar 15, 2011 at 12:58 PM

        dfensfelix I AGREE! We should do away with silly contracted names. They are douchey. So…what does “dfensfelix” mean anyways? Sounds pretty douchey to me…

      • Jeremy T - Mar 15, 2011 at 11:52 PM

        “StarCast” actually sounds kinda cool…

  3. cur68 - Mar 15, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    Next Jeets, eh? Well, why not. He’s scrappy. A real ballplayer. Kind of thinking athlete a person can respect for his hard work and hard earned skills.

    (I’m really getting the hang of this cultural label thing, aren’t I?)

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