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Starlin Castro Set on a Strong Finish

August 12th, 2014 at 4:00 PM
By Tim Duxbury

Cubs vs. Braves 4-7-2013 from Flickr via Wylio? 2012 Doug Anderson, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Starlin Castro has enjoyed a nice bounce-back year after struggling mightily in 2013, and he is also enjoying a bounce-back month here in August after struggling in July. We spoke about Castro’s up and down play in an earlier article, but he has been tremendous as of late. After picking up two more hits last night in the team’s 3-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, Castro is hitting .415 (17-41) in the month of August.

Since the turn of the month we have seen a vintage Castro performance out on the field, picking up base hits left and right. His power numbers are down, as he has only two doubles this month and hasn’t hit a home run since June 20th, but how can you argue with a batting average over .400.

The surge stems back to Castro’s approach at the plate. His struggles last year were due, in part, to a change in his approach at the plate; see more pitches and draw walks. When Castro was at his best, back in 2010 & 2011, his on base percentage was between 47 and 34 points higher than his batting average and he has gotten back to that free swinging mentality this month. In fact, Castro has hit for a better average in each month where his differential was 54 points or lower.

Month:

April

May

June

July

August

.ave

.317

.248

.296

.221

.415

.obp

.343

.305

.350

.291

.442

Diff.

26 pts

57 pts

54 pts

70 pts

27 pts

   (stats per ESPN.com)

Castro’s style of hitting goes against all the new-age metrics that value seeing pitches and getting on base rather than getting hits, but the kid has proven time and time again that when he is left alone to do his own thing, he can flat out hit. 

Some guys just like to jump on the first pitch they see and when Castro has done that this year he is hitting .404 (21-52), so maybe it’s time we throw out book and just let the kid swing it.

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