FanPost

Is Welly Castillo a long term solution at catcher?

Pretty simple question, do you think Welington will be the starting catcher the next time we make the playoffs? I know there is a wide variety of opinions on our young catcher, both offensively and defensively. Does he have room to grow? What's his upside at the plate? How good is his defense?

Offensively Welly is having a very different season compared to last year. He's kept himself respectable for a catcher by maintaining a decent average, but has been aided by a high babip. I don't think anyone can argue he won't be successful long term with his current 24.1% K rate combine with only a 3 % BB rate. But there is reason to believe that BB rate will improve, as he had a strong 8.9 % BB rate last year in 53 games, and has constantly walked at a high rate in his three seasons at AAA, peaking at 13.1% last year. His power is also down from expectations, as his ISO is a meager .091, down from a solid .153 last year. He's hit for great power each year at AAA, posting ISOs of .243, .238, and .164. Hopefully the BB rate and ISO rates improve. We know he can walk more and hit for more power, but if he doesn't make adjustments from where he's at right now he'll be in trouble.

Defensively, there is a wide variety of opinions. Dale Sveum thinks he's one of the best defenders in the league, but others criticize his pitch blocking, which certainly could use work. One thing you can't argue is that he has one of the best arms in the league, well-above average. Handling the pitching staff and calling a game isn't something that fans like us can't really comment on, but it seems like the starters (other than Jackson) haven't had any problems with him.

Right now he's projected to be worth about 2.1 WAR in his projected 127 games, which is probably about league average. His offense is a little below average right now, but fangraphs like his D, although I'm not sure how much stock you can put into that. We know he has the potential to be an above average hitter, maybe even an all-star caliber hitter. We don't have anything resembling a legit catching prospect anywhere close to the majors, so is Castillo the answer as the starting catcher on the 2015/2016 teams hitting 6th or 7th? Or are we looking at free agency or trade candidates?

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of SB Nation or Al Yellon, managing editor (unless it's a FanPost posted by Al). FanPost opinions are valued expressions of opinion by passionate and knowledgeable baseball fans.

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