Tag Archive: Nick Castellanos


Gio Gonzalez would be a good fit at the Tigers, but only at the right price. The left-hander ranked ninth in the AL in strikeouts and 10th in ERA in 2011. (Google image)

The Oakland A’s are willing to part with Gio Gonzalez, and the Tigers have been rumored to be one of the teams interested in acquiring the 26-year old left-handed pitcher.

Gonzalez would no doubt be a good acquisition for the Tigers. He would give them a much-needed lefty for their rotation and would also address their need for a fifth starter. Gonzalez has had a strong past couple of seasons for the Athletics. He ranked 16-12 and ranked ninth in the American League with 197 strikeouts and 10th with a 3.12 ERA and was an All-Star last season. Gonzalez was better pitcher at home last season with an ERA that was almost a run better at the Oakland Coliseum than on the road. Still he has a 38-32 career record and a 3.93 ERA in four seasons.

Nick Castellanos appears to be the long-term solution for the Tigers at third base and Detroit shouldn't include him in a deal to acquire Gio Gonzalez. (B. Calloway photo)

Oakland will definitely require a good package in dealing Gonzalez, and it is rumored the Tigers would have to part with top prospects right-handed pitcher Jacob Turner and third baseman Nick Castellanos and a few other pieces to acquire him. If the Tigers could entice the Athletics without including Castellanos would and should be the only way they make such a deal.

After trading third baseman Francisco Martinez, who appeared in the 2011 Futures Game, to Seattle in the deal that landed Doug Fister, the Tigers pretty much determined Castellanos would be their guy at third base when he was ready – which could be sometime in 2013 or 14. Third base is a current position of need for the Tigers and the 19-year old Castellanos seems as if he could be a long-term solution when he is ready.

I don’t blame the Athletics for wanting both of the Tigers top prospects, but Turner would be a lot easier to part with considering the depth of pitching Detroit has in the upper portion of its system. Detroit also has Andrew Oliver, Casey Crosby, Drew Smyly, Duane Below and Adam Wilk and could maybe part with Turner and another pitcher among with something else in a deal. Detroit also has great depth at catcher (Rob Brantly, Jeff Kunkel) that they could deal as well.

With wide interest in Gonzalez, the price will understandingly be high, but the Tigers shouldn’t give up Castellanos in a deal to acquire the lefty.

Tigers prospect Nick Castellanos, who was the 44th overall pick in the 2010 draft, is hitting .302 with 28 doubles and 60 RBIs at West Michigan this season.

The Tigers made their move to bolster their chances at making the postseason with the acquisition of pitchers Doug Fister and Dave Pauley from Seattle.

With the trade they lost four players, including Double-A third baseman Francisco Martinez, one of two Tigers players that participated in this year’s Futures Games during All-Star weekend in July.

That puts the future focus for the Tigers on 19-year old third baseman Nick Castellanos, rated Detroit’s No. 2 prospect by Baseball America. He is now the heir apparent to take over at third base for Detroit in a couple of seasons. There were questions what the Tigers would do in a few years when both Castellanos and Martinez would be ready for the bigs and if one of the highly touted prospects would be in line for a position switch in order for Detroit to get both of their bats in the lineup. That point becomes now moot with the departure of Martinez.

It still bears watching to see how each of the players performs in the future to see which of the players performs better down the line and if the Tigers made the right decision to keep Castellanos over Martinez.

What’s clear is that the future is bright for Castellanos, who was Detroit’s top selection in the 2010 draft and received a $3 million signing bonus.

Since a rocky first month of the season in which he hit just .194, the Davie, Fla., native has been one of the best offensive players in the Midwest League. Castellanos has anchored the cleanup spot for Low Single-A West Michigan and is batting .302 with 28 doubles, six home runs and 60 RBIs as the season winds down.

He has hit better than .300 in every month since the slow April, including a sizzling month of June in which he hit .375. He is hitting .321 since the Midwest League’s All-Star game.

Defensively, Castellanos is still a work in progress and will continue to get better as he gets more experience playing at third base. Castellanos, who has 20 errors this season – including three in an extra-inning loss last month –  played mostly shortstop prior to this season. He has a strong arm so its only a matter of getting more experience at third and boosting his .904 fielding percentage.

Meanwhile Martinez, who is 20,  was hitting .282 with 14 doubles and seven homers at Double-A Erie and has a .909 fielding percentage. He likely will be ready for a full-time job in the big leagues in 2013. It bears watching which one has the better career in the majors and if the Tigers parted with the right third baseman.