Willi Castro

Willi Castro

26-Year-Old OutfielderOF
Minnesota Twins
2024 Fantasy Outlook
Castro has the best season of his career as he became a solid utility player and a surprising source of stolen bases. After Castro was non-tendered by Detroit he had to settle for a minor league deal with the Twins and wasn't a sure bet to win a major league job. Castro got regular duty at third base in May when Jose Miranda struggled and hit .274 with a .780 OPS and 10 steals in the first two months of the season. He also became the backup center fielder when Byron Buxton was unable to play in the field. Castro gained manager Rocco Baldelli's confidence on the basepaths and went 33 for 38 in steal attempts. Castro drew more walks (8.3% BB%) and made harder contact (career-high 31.9% Hard Hit rate), but most of his underlying metrics were similar to his underwhelming 2022 season. A full-season career-high .328 BABIP may have indicated he was a bit lucky. However, Castro's versatility to be a plus glove around the infield and use his speed to be adequate in the outfield should help him carve out a steady role. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#308
ADP
$Signed a one-year, $3 million contract with the Twins in January of 2024.
Out of Friday's lineup
OFMinnesota Twins
April 12, 2024
Castro is not in the lineup for Friday's game against the Tigers.
ANALYSIS
Castro has just three hits in 32 plate appearances this season and will head to the bench Friday for the second consecutive contest. Kyle Farmer will man the hot corner and bat sixth in the series opener at Detroit.
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Batting Stats
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2024
2023
2022
2021
2020
2019
2024 MLB Game Log
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2023 MLB Game Log
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2022 MLB Game Log
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2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
1
2
7
4
1
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
1
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2022
 
 
+14%
OPS vs RHP
2024
 
 
+260%
OPS vs RHP
2023
 
 
+26%
OPS vs RHP
2022
 
 
+2%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2022vs Left .629 264 30 4 20 10 .234 .285 .344
Since 2022vs Right .714 605 83 14 48 33 .246 .320 .394
2024vs Left .167 12 1 0 0 0 .000 .167 .000
2024vs Right .601 56 5 1 3 1 .191 .304 .298
2023vs Left .636 129 16 1 7 9 .237 .320 .316
2023vs Right .803 280 44 8 27 24 .266 .348 .455
2022vs Left .660 123 13 3 13 1 .250 .260 .400
2022vs Right .646 269 34 5 18 8 .237 .295 .351
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2022
 
 
+27%
OPS at Home
2024
 
 
+22%
OPS at Home
2023
 
 
+20%
OPS at Home
2022
 
 
+39%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2022Home .776 407 60 10 38 20 .273 .335 .441
Since 2022Away .611 462 53 8 30 23 .216 .287 .324
2024Home .596 24 1 0 1 1 .211 .333 .263
2024Away .487 44 5 1 2 0 .132 .250 .237
2023Home .831 174 33 5 18 16 .260 .351 .480
2023Away .691 235 27 4 16 17 .255 .330 .361
2022Home .750 209 26 5 19 3 .289 .322 .428
2022Away .539 183 21 3 12 6 .187 .240 .298
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Stat Review
How does Willi Castro compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Expected BA
    Expected Batting Average.
  • Expected SLG
    Expected Slugging Percentage.
  • Sprint Speed
    The speed of a runner from home to first, in feet per second.
  • Ground Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are on the ground.
  • Line Drive %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are line drives.
  • Fly Ball %
    The percentage of balls put in play that are fly balls.
BB/K
0.31
 
BB Rate
11.8%
 
K Rate
38.2%
 
BABIP
.258
 
ISO
.088
 
AVG
.158
 
OBP
.279
 
SLG
.246
 
OPS
.525
 
wOBA
.249
 
Exit Velocity
85.1 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
37.5%
 
Barrels/PA
2.9%
 
Expected BA
.192
 
Expected SLG
.269
 
Sprint Speed
24.8 ft/sec
 
Ground Ball %
51.6%
 
Line Drive %
22.6%
 
Fly Ball %
25.8%
 
Prospect Rankings History
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Latest Fantasy Rumors
Roster spot likely secure
OFMinnesota Twins
May 24, 2023
Castro's place on Minnesota's roster is likely safe for the foreseeable future with Nick Gordon on the injured list with a fractured tibia, according to Dan Hayes of The Athletic.
ANALYSIS
Gordon had taken over as the Twins' primary center fielder earlier this month, but Opening Day starter Michael Taylor has now reclaimed that role. Castro has been operating as a super-utility player and has already seen action at every position except catcher and first base this season, and he's now likely the club's No. 2 option in center since Byron Buxton has yet to play the field this year. Castro's .226/.286/.357 slash line doesn't offer much fantasy appeal, but his plus defense and versatility will likely be enough for Minnesota to keep him around, at least until the team is in better health.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2023
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
Once an emerging middle infield option for Detroit, Castro's path to regular playing time now seems to be in the outfield. He started 80 games in the outfield for the Tigers in 2022, while also seeing 16 games apiece at second base and shortstop. That was a drastic change from 2021, when Castro primarily played in the infield and only saw 10 outfield appearances. Offensively, Castro has shown flashes here and there, though his .651 OPS last year leaves room for growth. He has at least been able to reduce his strikeouts the past few seasons. Castro struck out just under 31 percent of the time as a rookie in 2019. He lowered that to a career-best 20.9 percent in 2022. The slight improvements weren't enough to convince Detroit to keep him around, and he wasn't tendered a contract for 2023. Castro subsequently joined Minnesota on a minor-league deal and is unlikely to work as any more than a utility man should he see the majors.
No one expected Castro to approach the .931 he registered in the pandemic season, but last year's fall from grace was steeper than anticipated. Castro's plate skills and batted ball profile were virtually identical, but his .448 BABIP in 2020 and .275 mark last season were on opposite ends of the luck spectrum. Assuming his BABIP settles in the middle, Castro has some pop and can run, but he profiles more as a bench piece, at least on a contending team. He's a middle infielder by trade but Castro has dabbled at the hot corner and outfield so he could serve as a super-utility guy. The Tigers aren't quite ready to compete yet, so Castro may get another chance to prove he's a regular, but there's nothing in his resume worth chasing for a fantasy breakout.
Castro won't hit .349 (or even .300) over a full season. It was encouraging to see a big improvement over the .230 mark posted in 110 PA the year prior, although Castro's 27.1 K% and 85.3 mph average exit velocity don't support a lofty average. A 41.9% groundball rate with 84th percentile speed buoyed an unsustainable .448 BABIP. Plus, an 86.2-mph flyball average exit velocity doesn't back a 20.7% rate on HR/FB. Countering some of the regression will be physical maturation and skills growth as Castro will be just 24 years old as he embarks on his first full campaign. It's curious why Castro only tried one steal after swiping 17 of 21 as a 22-year-old at Triple-A. Shortstop is loaded and deep while Castro has yet to establish a trustworthy baseline. Helping his case is bonus third-base eligibility in many leagues.
We've been spoiled by some elite prospects this decade. Now when a prospect struggles initially, we have a tendency to label the player as one thing and mostly write them off. Let's give Castro another shot before we put him out of our collective consciousness. At 22 years old, Castro hit over .300 at Triple-A with 11 homers and 17 steals in 21 attempts. He struck out 21% of the time at that level, but that number jumped to north of 30% in the majors and he recorded only one barrel among 68 batted-ball events. Given the batted-ball numbers, it's reasonable to be skeptical about Castro hitting for the kinds of averages we saw on the farm, but Castro's average sprint speed ranked in the 86th percentile and opportunity should be there on a rebuilding Tigers club. He will compete for a starting role in spring training.
The first half of 2018 was a disappointment, but Castro turned it on after a deadline trade to the Tigers, posting a robust 155 wRC+ in 26 games with Double-A Erie to earn a promotion to Triple-A to close out his age-21 season. Castro does not project to provide a lot of category juice -- he's topped out with 11 home runs and 20 steals, the latter being a generous reflection of his speed. However, he has displayed decent bat-to-ball ability for his age, with his strikeout rate never exceeding 21.9% over a meaningful sample. There's also at least some hope for more power as he matures and fills out his 6-foot-1 frame. Detroit brought in Jordy Mercer as a stopgap at shortstop and Niko Goodrum is seemingly locked in at second base for the time being, so it's difficult to imagine we see Castro debut in 2019. If he builds on his late run at Triple-A, we could see Castro early on in 2020.
Last season was Castro's first year in pro ball as an above-league-average hitter (115 wRC+), but the breakout at High-A in his age-20 season looks legitimate. His 11 homers topped his career total entering the year (10 in 236 games), but his 8.3 percent HR/FB was not alarming, and it simply looks like a young player naturally growing into some pop. He has 64 career steals, but with just slightly above-average speed and a career 66.7 percent success rate, it would be foolish to expect him to steal more than 10 or 12 bases annually in his early years in the majors. Castro cut his pull rate from 50 percent at Low-A to 43.7 percent at High-A, and considering he excels at making contact (17.6 percent strikeout rate), he should be able to continue to hit for fairly high batting averages in the upper levels. He could stick at shortstop, but will likely eventually move to second base or center field if he remains with the Indians.
A switch-hitting shortstop from Puerto Rico, Castro held his own as a 19-year-old at Low-A. Perhaps predictably, he struggled at times to make contact. Castro hit .259 with a .283 OBP in 123 games. He fanned 96 times while drawing just 16 walks. Still, Castro showed an intriguing power/speed combination, smacking seven home runs while swiping 16 bases. The potential for double-digit home runs and stolen bases for a 19-year-old at a middle infield position makes him a prospect to watch. He is built in the same mold as current Indians superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor, though nobody is saying Castro has anywhere near that kind of ceiling. He must refine his approach and exercise more patience at the dish. Castro should start the 2017 campaign at High-A.
Castro, 18, offers a hit-over-power with a little speed offensive profile at shortstop. At 6-foot-1 and 165 pounds, there is room to project a tad more power down the road, but batting average, runs, and steals will be the foundation of his fantasy value. He slashed .264/.304/.330 with one home run and 20 steals (on 27 attempts) in 67 games in the New York-Penn League, where the average player was more than three years his senior. His 10.3% K-rate also demonstrates an advanced ability to make contact, although the fact that he has never posted a BABIP over .295 suggests that contact is often weak. While shortstops with Castro’s profile, such as Erick Aybar, are useful once they reach the big leagues, his lack of double-digit home run power and an ETA of at least 2019 makes him difficult to roster in most formats.
More Fantasy News
Not in Wednesday's lineup
OFMinnesota Twins
April 10, 2024
Castro is absent from the lineup Wednesday versus the Dodgers.
ANALYSIS
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Out of Monday's lineup
OFMinnesota Twins
April 8, 2024
Castro is out of the lineup for Monday's game against the Dodgers.
ANALYSIS
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Draws fifth straight start
OFMinnesota Twins
April 3, 2024
Castro will start in center field and bat seventh in Wednesday's game against the Brewers.
ANALYSIS
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Takes over at third base
OFMinnesota Twins
March 30, 2024
Castro started at third base and went 1-for-2 with a walk and a caught stealing in Saturday's win at Kansas City.
ANALYSIS
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Strong start to spring
OFMinnesota Twins
March 2, 2024
Castro started at shortstop and went 1-for-3 in Saturday's spring training loss to Philadelphia and has gone 4-for-10 overall this spring. He appears set for a multi-position utility role again this season, MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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