MLB bold predictions: His past numbers may not look like it, but Jason Castro will provide great hidden value for the Twins this year.
In 2016, his final year in Houston, Castro hit just .210/.307/.377 for an 88 OPS+ with 0.9 WAR. Those numbers don't look like much, but they also don't show that Castro ranked third in the majors in pitch framing (+16 runs according to Baseball Prospectus) and was 11th in the majors in both 2014 and '15 as well. Meanwhile, the departed Kurt Suzuki was seven runs below average in framing last year for the Twins; over the past three seasons, the tallies are +37 for Castro and -32 for Suzuki—a gap of 23 runs per year, about 2.3 wins—with the rest of their contributions tilting slightly in Castro's favor as well. All of which is to say that the $24.5 million Minnesota committed to Castro will more than pay for itself, particularly by stealing strikes for a pitching staff that hasn't ranked higher than 13th in the league in strikeouts since 2010. That alone won’t make the Twins contenders, but it should certainly help them prevent runs.