Chicago Cubs shortstop prospect Starlin Castro – now officially the top prospect in the Cubs’ system – is beating AA pitching like a glorified tee-ball tee. Of course, expectations need to remain tempered, and it’s been just 14 games, but in 61 at bats, Castro has truly been incredible.

He’s sporting a .426 average and a .455 OBP, and the kicker is his .705 slugging percentage, fed by way of a homer, six doubles and four(!) triples. And the kid has struck out just seven times – that means he’s got more extra base hits than strikeouts, a nice rule of thumb when evaluating minor league prospects. Not to mention the fact that he just turned 20 in a league full of 20-somethings.

Defensively, he’s made a few errors, but by all accounts still looks slick and impressive.

Ultimately, it will be very interesting to see what the next couple of months brings. The sample size as of now is too small to force the Cubs’ hand, but if he keeps doing this, how can the Cubs possibly justify keeping him down? Well, if Ryan Theriot rebounds, and the second basemen are hitting well, I suppose that’s a justification right there.

Another justification? The cynical one. Waiting until next year to start Castro’s arbitration clock.

  • Kevin G

    Castro after last night is actually hitting .426. He need to be moved up to Triple A. He went 3 for 4 last night with a double, triple and 3 RBIs. He needs a little more of a challenge.

    • Ace

      Eh, AAA isn’t always more challenging. The pitching is more consistent in AAA, but AA features far more of the tip top pitching prospects.

      • Bric

        And generally speaking, his age is more suited to AA. But I’ve always heard that AA is more of the hitters’ league and AAA is more of the pitchers’ league, as the coaching goes.

  • Kevin G

    I have been keeping up on all the minor league cubs teams.