Welington Castillo was a surprising non-tender by the Arizona Diamondbacks after slashing .264/.322/.423 with 14 home runs, 41 runs scored and 68 RBI. The numbers are not exciting in the least, especially given his peripherals. The Orioles were in the process of moving on from Matt Wieters, and they jumped on the opportunity to add a power hitting catcher to round out the rest of their all-power, no-speed lineup. For those needing some pop from their fantasy baseball catcher slot, Castillo is a great value pick.
Castillo is a great punting catcher target this season if amazing value doesn’t fall into your lap. Castillo’s FantasyPros ADP is 184, as the #12 fantasy baseball catcher off the board. That’s a good spot for him, which will return big on your investment. His batting average will settle in on slightly-below-average, but his home run and power numbers should go through the roof. There are two strongly correlated advanced stats, hard hit rate and isolated power (ISO), and Castillo is one of the big outliers in terms of a high hard hit rate (39.8%) that didn’t match his ISO.
He was in the same range as Corey Seager, Miguel Sano and Mark Trumbo in hard hit rate (very good), but his ISO suffered, as he was in the Lonnie Chisenhall and Danny Valencia range (very bad). Castillo should return a high home run total, especially playing in the AL East bandboxes. A high strikeout rate and low walk rate keep him from being a true breakout rather than a late power option.
Castillo played in a anemic Diamondbacks lineup last year, which drove down his runs and RBI totals, as well. The plus lineup will drive up his runs and RBI alongside his power. Fangraphs projections have him down for just 98 games, which I don’t buy.
Ultimately, Castillo is a good bet for you to get if you sell out for speedsters at the top of your draft. His positive regression in the power department is less useful given the sudden glut of power last year. However, he is more likely to end up in the top ten at the position outside of the top fifteen, if he gets the playing time.
If Castillo snags enough playing time, 25 home runs, 75 runs and 75 RBI aren’t outside the realm of possibility. You’ll just have to be able to stomach the .250 – .260 batting average to reap those benefits.