Detroit Tigers: Willi Castro snubbed from 2020 Rookie of the Year Finalists

(Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports)
(Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) /

Detroit Tigers shortstop Willi Castro was snubbed from the 2020 Rookie of the Year finalist group after a phenomenal rookie campaign.

The Detroit Tigers offseason is in full swing, but in other news, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) 2020 award finalists were unveiled. While the Tigers did not have any finalists, they had one who could have been in the conversation for the 2020 Rookie of the Year award.

Shortstop/middle-infielder Willi Castro did not make it into the three finalists, but he could have definitely been placed in the top conversation for the 2020 Rookie of the Year honors. Houston Astros pitcher Cristian Javier, Seattle Mariners outfielder Kyle Lewis, and Chicago White Sox outfielder Luis Robert were all named finalists.

While all three of the aforementioned rookies had exceptional seasons, Castro should have at least been in the conversation for the honors. Castro may have only played in 36 games during the 2020 season, but that is over half of the season, and his numbers were quite impressive.

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In his 36-game 2020 campaign, Castro hit .349/.381/.550 with 12 extra-base hits, six home runs, and 24 RBI for the Tigers.

He may not have belted eleven home runs like Lewis and Robert, who were at the top of the home run leaderboard for rookies, but he shined in the batters’ box.

It seems that the BBWAA seems to put a high value on power for the award finalists.

Both Lewis and Robert had some impressive shows of power between home runs, and RBI totals, with Robert leading the way at 31 RBI during 2020.

On the other hand, Castro started to look like he was settling in for the Tigers organization. After Niko Goodrum’s struggles let him slip out of the starting shortstop gig, Castro found his way into that role more and more.

Defensively, Castro spent 27 games at shortstop, eight at third, and one at first for the Tigers during the 2020 season. His defense was not elite and is something he needs to improve upon, making six total errors on the season, posting a .941 fielding percentage.

He could be in the conversation to be the future starting shortstop for this organization, but after an incredible 2020 campaign, he deserved some recognition. He may have been better served in that group of three than Javier from the Astros, but the BBWAA felt different.

Not to say that Castro would have won the Rookie of the Year honors, but he was snubbed from being a finalist and could definitely have fallen into the top three finalists.

The switch-hitting infielder will look to get back on the field during the 2021 season and continue the offensive success he had in 2020, hopefully further developing his defense.

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At the end of the day, Detroit Tigers shortstop Willi Castro was snubbed from the 2020 Rookie of the Year award conversation by the BBWAA finalists.