Detroit Tigers: Willi Castro gunning for starting shortstop job

(Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports)
(Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) /

Detroit Tigers prospect infielder Willi Castro is gunning for the starting shortstop job. As Spring Training continues down in Lakeland, Castro will be looking to earn his spot on the team for the 2021 season as a starter.

Frankly, it seems like it is his job to lose, sort of. Castro will have some competition and has not earned the starting job quite yet, but the competition is minimal. It seems like he is best suited to be “the guy” for the Detroit Tigers at shortstop in the upcoming season.

Castro is going to be clashing with players like Niko Goodrum and Isaac Paredes over at shortstop. While Paredes will likely add versatility to his resume and find himself moving around the infield after being a third baseman candidate for the team as well.

Goodrum is another utility-type player who can be moved around. In 2020 it seemed more than likely that Goodrum was the guy at shortstop and that he was poised to have a phenomenal season. However, the cards fell a different way, and Goodrum took major steps back in 2020.

The Detroit Tigers’ shortstop starting job is Willi Castro’s for the taking.

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After being acquired from Cleveland in the Leonys Martin trade, Castro has been one of the Tigers’ more notable infield prospects.

He is not a top-five/top-flight prospect, but he has been an exceptional addition to the farm system.

However, as 2021 rolls around, Castro should be looking to make the permanent jump and prove he can hang in the big leagues.

In 2020, Castro was in the big leagues for 36 games, where he totaled 140 plate appearances.

In those 140 plate appearances, Castro hit .349/.381/.550 with six home runs and 24 RBI for the Tigers, which is incredibly impressive.

While the sample size here is nowhere near that of a full season, and those numbers are unsustainable over a full season, he could be good.

What I mean is, Castro could very well flatten those numbers out a bit over the full season and still be a productive member of the Tigers offense, which will be mediocre at best. Castro’s issue that holds him back is his defense.

The errant throws from shortstop are a bit concerning, but not something the Tigers cannot live with. If Castro is going to hit .280 or better with some sneaky pop, the Tigers should be more than on board with some throwing errors.

However, the fundamentals of the game are key, and Castro needs to iron out things with his defense; if he can round out his game there, the Tigers should have a fun shortstop to watch in 2021.

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As Spring Training continues, keep an eye on Willi Castro as he looks to win the starting job at shortstop for the Detroit Tigers.