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  1. This isn’t an attack as much as it is a rant, so forgive me if it comes across as harsh or rude…

    But the whole Player A is good at baseball, or Player B isn’t good at baseball hyperbole annoys the hell out of me. It’s not clever sounding. It’s stupid sounding. Any player that’s touched Major League Baseball is absurdly good at it.

    Comment by Pg — May 8, 2012 @ 11:07 am

  2. There was a joke in there that was edited out referring to the title…it would have made more sense

    Comment by Ryan Campbell — May 8, 2012 @ 11:15 am

  3. I think the inevitability of Castro moving away from SS is overhyped. He has the raw tools to succeed there, and while he’s demonstrated a kind of sloppiness that you don’t often see in a major league player, he is, slowly but surely, getting better. I don’t know if he can develop a gold glover’s feel for the position, you either have that or you don’t, but I with time his range and his arm will make him into a player than can stay at short.

    Comment by sjellic2 — May 8, 2012 @ 11:43 am

  4. He’s definitely got elite range at the position, as well as the arm, glove, etc… It all comes down to his decision making and composure at the position, which are seemingly the two spots where his mistakes come from.

    He kind of reminds me of Jeter at the position in a lot of ways.

    Comment by arescan — May 8, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

  5. Is this a serious complaint?

    Comment by Kirkwood — May 8, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

  6. Obviously going forward is an entirely different question, but… if you’re talking about the best shortstops RIGHT NOW, doesn’t Derek Jeter have to be in the conversation? If he regresses completely — for the rest of the season hits .290 with a .390 SLG, and keeps the same poor walk rate he has now — if he gets 550 more PA’s, he’ll finish the season at .304/.378/.419.

    Comment by JimNYC — May 8, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

  7. I hate the comparison of Tulo being in college and Castro being a pro at the same age. If Tulo was born in a place where his best option for success in life was signing a contract at 16 years old he would have been a pro by 20 also.

    Comment by DD — May 8, 2012 @ 12:04 pm

  8. So he’s bad at it? Sounds right.

    Comment by Matt Zakrowski — May 8, 2012 @ 12:06 pm

  9. Interesting point of view. I don’t know Tulo’s history, but as far as I can tell he wasn’t even drafted out of high school. I don’t know what the reasons are, but if he was just passed over I doubt he would have gotten a contract at 16 had he been Latin American.

    Comment by Ryan Campbell — May 8, 2012 @ 12:09 pm

  10. That would make him the anti-Jeter who who has great composure and decision making and terrible range and only an adequate arm.

    Comment by Preston — May 8, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

  11. Pg sounds like a real lighthearted, enjoyable guy to joke around with

    Comment by Monterobang — May 8, 2012 @ 12:15 pm

  12. Right, he wasn’t drafted out of high school, but remember the context. He was at an American high school playing multiple sports, not some baseball academy since he was 10-12 refining the only sport he was told to play. I just hate when I see some of these comparisons without context, though guys like A-Rod, Griffey, and Harper are legit mentions in such cases.

    Comment by DD — May 8, 2012 @ 12:17 pm

  13. Nonsense. Everyone knows fangraphs doesn’t have editors

    Comment by diegosanchez — May 8, 2012 @ 12:21 pm

  14. Some things are best left unsaid… fewer nitpicking/editorial comments please.

    Comment by James — May 8, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

  15. I agree with Pg. You see this template used on a near-daily basis if you read, say, even just a handful of different blogs. It’s old, tiresome, and not clever.

    Comment by WY — May 8, 2012 @ 12:28 pm

  16. i actually agree with Pg’s point when it comes to this meme that won’t die. to me, it’s kind of sad that it’s become commonplace to paint players–figuratively better than 100% of the people who’ve attempted the activity of baseball and maybe 95%ish who receive renumeration for the activity–with that language.


    Comment by cable fixer — May 8, 2012 @ 12:32 pm

  17. I’m not sure I buy that baseball factory argument… team’s are willing to shell out the dough (and picks) for athletes, whether they are refined ball players are not. Bubba Starling is a perfect example as he is far from a refined baseball product. Tons of football players like that are brought into the baseball fold with $. Starling was bought away from an opportunity to play QB for Nebraska, Zach Lee from LSU. Even guys from the North who played weak competition like Brandon Nimmo or Mike Trout command first round picks and big bonuses

    Comment by Ryan Campbell — May 8, 2012 @ 12:34 pm

  18. That wasn’t at all the point. The point the author was trying to make was that, if you think Tulowitzki is really good, and you should, here are some reasons to think Castro is good. He wasn’t making the point that Castro is better than Tulowitzki or that Tulo’s accomplishments are somehow sullied by the fact that he played college baseball. He was simply saying that Castro is young to be doing all these things well in the major leagues and, in fact, when Tulo was his age, he was still in college.

    Comment by chuckb — May 8, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

  19. I think we’re explaining things differently, but agreeing. My thought is that many Latin players are “fast tracked” to the majors by being taught major league-level skills as young teens, and sent to the professional minor leagues by 16-17. Meanwhile most American players can’t get instruction past a “top high school” level until they are at least 18 (Bryce Harper is an exception to this, but he was fast tracked with a baseball-only regimen, so it’s not totally shocking he’s in the majors already). What I’m saying is that Castro should be compared to others that were given the same “advantages” as he was, while Harper and A-Rod and Trout can be compared to each other.

    Comment by DD — May 8, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

  20. As a Cubs fan, one thing I really like about Castro is his game-mentality. You can tell he loves the game and is very much into it (most of the time). He’s a little young, but as he matures his focus will come around. If he keeps the flame of competitiveness buring, Castro could stay and thrive at Shortstop.

    Comment by Jarrett — May 8, 2012 @ 1:21 pm

  21. Lots of whiny bitches complain about all this free content.

    Comment by Norm — May 8, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

  22. If you’re talking about shortstops with a chance to finish in the top 10 (or even top 5) in WAR, then yes, Jeter belongs in the conversation. However, I don’t understand why you’d only use 2012 to judge the best shortstops right now (other than to squeeze Captain Teammate into the conversation).

    If you look at Zips(U), Jeter is outside of the top-5 (even removing Hanley, which I think is fair). Jeter isn’t the only old shortstop having a great first 33 days of the season. Rafael Furcal is also ahead of Jeter in Zips(U) on the back of the 1.9 WAR he’s already accumulated.

    Comment by TKDC — May 8, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

  23. The paragraph that begins “I’m not trying to predict…” is WAAAAY to long and offends my sensibilities. F&%* this, I’m out of here!

    Comment by Valid Complaint — May 8, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

  24. Probably more referring to early 20’s Jeter. It should be fair to assume that his instincts were worse at that age and his range were better. But he definitely had a cannon.

    Comment by AC — May 8, 2012 @ 2:34 pm

  25. “I’m not trying to predict future greatness for Castro here.”

    Well then what is the arguement? Because up to that point it seemed like the typical “yeah he may suck, but he is still a top player at his position by default because he is young” arguement. If you have to qualify everything with age in order to compare him to the best players at SS, then he is not one of the top players at SS.

    Also I like how you say that Castro is quickley closing the gap on Reyes. Then, later in the article you say that Elvis Andrus is better than Castro, but not as fun to watch. Lesson to learn: Being fun to watch goes further to being elite than being good at baseball.

    Comment by Jeff Mathis Does Steroids — May 8, 2012 @ 2:50 pm

  26. agreed. also when something parenthetically notes “see: last name, first name” …. nobody ever writes anyone’s last name first except in this style. ive always found it weird.

    its a nitpick sure, but i dont see why we should jump down someones throat about it. we all have diff things that annoy us.

    Comment by Sleight of Hand Pro — May 8, 2012 @ 2:53 pm

  27. how does castro remind you of jeter? hes got great range but is error prone. its the anti jeter if anything.

    matt – arescan’s stance “sounds about right”? how?

    Comment by Sleight of Hand Pro — May 8, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

  28. if only there was some sort of button to click to remove things you didn’t like from right in front of you

    Comment by jim — May 8, 2012 @ 3:16 pm

  29. At first i was thinking “?whaaaaaa?” But actually it makes sense. Jeter really never had the tools but stuck because of his composure and decision making plus his steadiness.

    He really is the anti castro and so in the same way anti matter and matter are extremely alike yet totally opposite……yeah i like that. Interesting.

    Bht as a yankee fan i will say its alot easier to learn composure and stesdiness. Jeter could only do so much with the tools.

    Then again casgro will NEVER be even close to the offensive force jeted has been.

    Comment by bpdelia — May 8, 2012 @ 3:48 pm

  30. Not really ac. His instincts were extraordinary from the start and his range pretty much always sucked. He had and still has a pretty good arm yhough. But not some dunstonesque cannon or anything.

    Comment by bpdelia — May 8, 2012 @ 3:50 pm

  31. Using a very simple sortable leader board, looking at WAR of 1+ for SS from 1980-2011 seasons, at age 20-22, there is a very interesting list that pops up.

    Alex Rodriguez- 22.8
    Cal Ripken- 13.5
    Elvis Andrus- 10.1
    Edgar Renteria- 6.1
    Starlin Castro- 5.6
    Jose Reyes- 5.2
    Ozzie Guillen- 3.7
    Wil Cordero- 3.1
    Gary Sheffield- 1.9

    not a bad group to be named in. And yes age does play a factor in determining the top players at a position. If a player at age 22 can do what a player at age 27 is doing thats a huge advantage to the pre “prime” player.

    Comment by Andy_B — May 8, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

  32. I don’t understand why you would say that Castro will never even be close to Jeter’s offense when through their first two full years they are pretty comparable, Jeter’s wRC+ 106 and 110, Castro’s 95 and 109. The bigger difference is that Jeter was two years older.

    Now, I’m not predicting Castro for the Hall of Fame or anything, and I’m not saying he’ll hit as well as Jeter, but I think it will be fairly close. Though they will get there in different ways. I don’t see Castro ever walking like Jeter does.

    Comment by jayT — May 8, 2012 @ 5:02 pm

  33. I feel that a lot baseball fans don’t realize how young Castro really is.

    Comment by adohaj — May 8, 2012 @ 6:25 pm

  34. Starlin Castro *is* good at baseball.

    Comment by Jon L. — May 8, 2012 @ 11:35 pm

  35. I totally agree. He hit .300 as a 20-year-old shortstop, repeated with more extra-base hits at 21, and shows every sign of improving again this year. If he was 27, you’d say he’s a good line-drive hitter; at 22, he projects as a potential HOF’er.

    Comment by Jon L. — May 8, 2012 @ 11:47 pm

  36. Starlin Castro, my twin!

    Comment by Ronny Cedeno — May 9, 2012 @ 5:36 am

  37. When it comes to hitters, you really do need to take account of age. Castro’s ability to do what he’s doing at this age has to be major factor in our evaluation of him.

    If he was a pitcher, not so much. At least that’s how I understand it.

    Look at Jeter and Reyes at this age, for instance. I’m not saying he’ll be as good as either, I’m just saying it’s worthwhile to compare him to (at least somewhat) similar players at a similar development stage.

    Comment by Daniel — May 9, 2012 @ 8:10 am

  38. RE: Castro closing the gap (vs Andrus), he could probably clarify that a tad some more, but the thrust of the article points to Castro being on the right path to “quickly closing the gap” because he has the tools on top of the track record so far to do that although his current biggest weakness (ie. defense) probably puts him at a disadvantage compared to Andrus at this point.

    Meanwhile, it doesn’t look (anymore) like Andrus has the tools/potential to grow a whole lot more like Castro seems to still have. So although Andrus may be the better overall SS right now, which is what you’d want to win *now*, Castro seems to have the higher upside and seems to be on the right track to surpass Andrus as he closes the gap on Tulo and Reyes.

    At least that’s how I’m reading this piece (and I agree accordingly) anyway…

    Of course, all this will be contingent on how well Castro actually continues to develop overall as SS… He is “closing the gap”, but he’s not there yet.

    Comment by TheUncool — May 9, 2012 @ 10:11 am

  39. Agreed, except only problem w/ this is that you may run out of enough good options for a reasonably thorough, meaningful comparison.

    I think you probably want to just qualify certain parts of the comparison to account for those kinds of issues, but not necessarily exclude those players like Tulo.

    Comment by TheUncool — May 9, 2012 @ 10:19 am

  40. Except Jeter’s range has never been as good as Castro’s.

    Most SS his age are busy committing 30+ errors in AA or AAA, so lets give the kid a little time to mature before we decide he needs to move positions.

    Comment by drew — May 9, 2012 @ 11:42 am

  41. Not true.

    Comment by Beyer, David — May 12, 2012 @ 10:29 pm

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