Detroit Tigers: Top 20 prospects going into the 2020 season

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Detroit Tigers
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Willi Castro, SS, Triple-A in 2019

Back in 2013, the Cleveland Indians decided to take a chance on Willi Castro as an international free agent. The Indians signed Castro and immediately got him into an affiliated ball. Still, he would ultimately become a Detroit Tigers prospect in 2018 in a trade for Tigers outfielder Leonys Martín and prospect Kyle Dowdy. Since then, Castro has worked through the minor leagues, cracking the big league roster in 2019 after spending the majority of the year with the Triple-A Toledo club.

Castro is a twenty-two-year-old switch-hitting shortstop who also can play second base if necessary. In terms of vitals, Castro is a 6-foot-1, 205-pound shortstop who is looking to make an impact for the Tigers have a strong season with Triple-A Toledo in 2019. Throughout 119 games with the Triple-A Toledo team, Castro hit .301/.366/.467 with eleven home runs, sixty-two RBI, and even seventeen stolen bases.

In 2019, Castro would get his first taste of the big leagues, playing thirty total games for the Tigers big league club. Throughout those thirty games, Castro would hit .230/.284/.340 slash with only one home run and eight RBI. He did not show the same presence on the base paths, but he possesses this tool.

The switch hitter should still get the chance to prove his ability to start every day sooner rather than later for the Tigers. Looking at his swing, from the left side of the plate, he has a short toe-tapping stride with hand movement up top. He has been known to chase the outside pitch when batting left-handed, but discipline should come over time as he develops.

From the right-side, he stands a little more open, with the same toe-tapping stride and similar hand movement up top. His swing produces a lot of line-drives, with some pop being shown here and there.

His power is still developing as he grows into his frame, and he should see the pop become more evident over time. Defensively, Castro has all the makings of a better than average fielder playing loose with soft hands and excellent arm strength.

MLB Expectation: If everything develops as expected, Castro has the makings of an everyday shortstop with some surprise pop in his bat. Castro will fill out as an above-average/good defender who hits well from both sides and has speed on the basepaths. He may have some competition between shortstops within the organization, but his talent level alone should carry him to become an everyday shortstop for the Detroit Tigers.