Castellanos to Cincy

The Cincinnati Reds capped off their strong offseason with another big move, announcing the addition of Nicholas Castellanos on a 4-year, $64 million dollar deal (which includes opt outs after 2020 and 2021). Castellanos has been a solid above average hitter the last several years, but then stepped up a notch when joining the Cubs down the stretch in 2019. After posting a 105 wRC+ in 439 PA with Detroit, he was traded over at the deadline and posted an explosive 154 mark in 225 PA.

In joining Cincinnati, Castellanos now has the best home ballpark of his career, as Great American Ballpark is routinely a top 10 park in homers, though I’ll quickly point out that Comerica Park isn’t nearly as bad for hitters as it’s perceived. If he can log his fourth straight season of at least 150 games, we might finally see the elusive 30-homer season after 26, 23, and 27 the last three seasons. He should regularly bat 4th or 5th for the Reds so he could get his second 100-RBI season, too.

While this move gives the Reds incredible outfield depth, it muddies the water on fantasy outlook of those involved, namely Jesse Winker, Nick Senzel, and Aristides Aquino. I don’t think they brought in Castellanos to platoon while another recent acquisition – Shogo Akiyama – is their best centerfield option. This move could indicate some skepticism about the reliability of Winker and Senzel given their health record or Aquino given that he has just 226 major league plate appearances under his belt. Orrr if you want to look at it more positively, perhaps they’re stocking up for a trade.

Let’s look at the early draft market on this set since the New Year:

  • Castellanos – 117th overall
  • Aquino – 169th
  • Senzel – 207th
  • Winker – 315th

Unsurprisingly, Winker comes in last as he adds a nasty platoon split to his injury history when it comes to negative marks. He has just 147 PA against lefties, but the .543 OPS marks a 364-point split compared to his work against righties. Aquino and Senzel have seen their prices dip since drafts started back in November, both dropping about 20 points overall.

Castellanos feels light at this price. Now, he will go up as every big-time free agent sees a boost once they land, but I wonder if he’ll go up enough. That current price puts him as the 33rd OF off the board and if he jumps 15-20 spots, he’ll be around the 27th at that point.

I think I’d jump him over Eddie Rosario for sure and then get him the cluster with Joey Gallo, Jeff McNeil, and Jorge Soler. That’d put him in the top 25, which feels right and it’s probably the highest he can go because the next group up includes guys who can hit similarly and steal bases. Steamer has him 24th, right around Gallo, Soler, and Max Kepler.

If Casty hits this range, who are you preferring?

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Paul is the Editor of Rotographs and contributes to ESPN's Daily Notes. Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer and on Twitch at sporer.

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gawd_damn catapult
Member
gawd_damn catapult

I’d list them as Gallo, McNeil (because of the eligibility), Rosario, Casty, Soler.

stonepie
Member
stonepie

i like that order, might swap rosario and mcneil. Idk why eddie is so low ADP wise, he’s been a solid bat for a few years now.

NL Rules
Member
NL Rules

Seems like Castellanos should be ranked last in this group for fantasy purposes. Great new home park but his splits last year vs RHP:
.272/.318/.405 — and worse than that in his career
He is perhaps an overpaid short-side platoon bat being put into an everyday role when he should sit vs some righties.

Anon
Member
Anon

.272/.318/.485, not .405.

He definitely has some platoon splits but they’re more like “OK against righties, beats up lefties”, not “they should platoon him”.

NL Rules
Member
NL Rules

I copied the triple slash from another article and it was incorrect. I agree with your assessment