Like the potted plant in Little Shop of Horrors, the hype monster surrounding Chicago Cubs shortstop prospect Starlin Castro keep growing to nearly unwieldy proportions, screaming “feed me, Seymour” all the way. That is not to say that the hype is undeserved – it may very well be deserved – but soon, it will ask for our blood. I’m just sayin’.
Jumping on the bandwagon is Chicago Cubs bench coach, and former All-Star shortstop Alan Trammell.
“I’d say he’s ahead of the curve,” Trammell said of Castro, who played at Class A Daytona, Double-A Tennessee, the Arizona Fall League and Dominican Winter League last year. “I’m very anxious to see him in the games.”
Trammell, who turned 52 on Feb. 21, has watched Castro during fielding drills and had a few early sessions with him.
“Everything he does is what you’re looking for,” the Cubs bench coach said. “He’s quiet, attentive, he gets after it.”
Trammell was able to see Castro play one game in the AFL, but the shortstop didn’t get many chances. It was what Castro did when he didn’t have to make a play that impressed Trammell.
“I saw his ready-preparation was good,” Trammell said. “A lot of times, guys you watch are sloppy and they get careless.
“What he’s been taught — and I’ve talked to Ryne Sandberg and others — they say he carries himself a little bit above, not like a normal 19-year-old. Those are all good traits. Now we need to see him in a game to evaluate.”
Castro won’t start Thursday in the Cubs’ Cactus League opener against Oakland but is expected to sub for Ryan Theriot at shortstop at some point in the game. Some have projected Castro to be the Cubs’ first All-Star shortstop since Shawon Dunston.
“I know it’s a great story,” Trammell said. “I can remember back in the day, the one thing going against him is — unlike myself and a couple of my teammates who were moved through quickly — we were a rebuilding team, and this is not.” cubs.com.
It’s good to hear that:
1.) Castro’s defense continues to look good. As a shortstop, we’d love for him to hit, but being a supremely good defender is where his bread will be buttered; and
2.) The Cubs still seem very unlikely to bring him up too soon.