Skip to main content
Player(s)

Where Does Willi Castro Rank Among AL Rookies?

Realistically, the race for this year's AL Rookie of the year award will likely come down to Seattle's Kyle Lewis and Chicago's Luis Robert. However, Willi Castro's numbers would tell you that he deserves mention in the conversations.

Realistically, the race for this year's AL Rookie of the year award will likely come down to Seattle's Kyle Lewis and Chicago's Luis Robert. However, Willi Castro's numbers would tell you that he deserves mention in the conversations.

Entering Thursday, among AL Rookies with at least 80 at-bats, Castro ranked first in batting average (.347), second in slugging (.537), second in OPS (.913) and third in OBP(.376).

Castro's homer in the eighth inning off his former Class-A teammate Shane Bieber provided three runs for the Tigers on an otherwise dry night at the plate.

Bieber teased the Tigers lineup with a slew of tantalizing breaking balls for the vast majority of the night until Castro connected on a changeup and managed to sneak it just inside the right-field foul pole.

The 23-year old's fifth home run of the year and second in the past three games extended his home hitting streak to seven consecutive games.

"I feel real good right now," Castro said. "I am never going to stop saying this -- it's been my routine that's kept me going. Doing the early work in the cage, working with the hitting coaches, that's what's keeping me going.

"And just keep swinging at good pitches."

The never-ending process of refining your craft is something Castro didn't put to the side during the quarantine. He spent plenty of offseason time with his brother-in-law, Mets shortstop Ahmed Rosario. The two worked out together in Tampa along with Indians first baseman Carlos Santana.

"Carlos Santana told me a lot of stuff and he made me a better hitter," Castro said. "The routine he showed me helped me out a lot."

Castro's switch-hitting ability is another luxury that his bat brings to the Tigers lineup. Left-handed, he's boasting a .400 batting average against fastballs, sliders and curveballs. Right-handed, he's hitting a steady .325 batting against fastballs along with a .350 average against sliders and curveballs.

His batting average on balls in play, which measures how often a ball goes in play for a hit, is currently a career-best .453. Despite inconsistencies at shortstop, Castro has earned himself a spot in the Tigers lineup.

Tigers Baseball Report video hits

  • Willi Castro isn't the first member of his family to play in the Tigers' organization. Learn more about his dad, Liliano, and the impact he had on Willi's game.
  • Ron Gardenhire is likely to use left-hander Tyler Alexander to piggyback Michael Fulmer in today's Tigers vs. Indians game. LHP Daniel Norris could be available. However, the Tigers used him in the ninth inning of Wednesday's 4-0 loss to Kansas City.
  • Watch more: