Starlin Castro headed for stardom

Updated: October 21, 2009, 3:39 PM ET
By Keith Law

Some final observations from my trip to the Arizona Fall League:

Chicago Cubs:

Starlin Castro is a future star. He won't turn 20 until March but was one of the best and most impressive hitters I saw in Arizona. He has excellent hand-eye coordination and can keep his hands inside the ball even when pitchers try to work him inside. His swing can get long on balls away, and he wraps his bat, but he makes a ton of contact and squares up on a lot of pitches out of the zone. He showed he can stay with sliders from right-handers -- this is good, because I saw way too many guys last week who could hit fastballs but not same-side breaking balls -- and showed signs of future power even to the opposite field. At shortstop, he has good lateral range, especially to his right, and a 65-70 arm on the 20-80 scale. There's still a significant amount of projection here; he slugged .392 (.093 isolated power percentage) this year between high Class A and Double-A. He is, though, one of the best shortstops in the minors. (I heard a few comparisons of Castro to Alfonso Soriano, and although there's some physical resemblance, Soriano has a longer swing and always has been a bit of a hacker, while Castro has better bat control and ability to adjust to changing speeds.)

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