The pickup of Starlin Castro was ingenious by the New York Yankees but, as their mentality shifts, he might not be a part of their plan.
When Starlin Castro was traded to the New York Yankees, it was a steal. Finally able to fill the void at second base since Robinson Cano’s departure, Castro seemed like the perfect fit for a struggling New York offense.
For his first season, he certainly was. He brought youthful energy along with his stellar defense to the Bronx. He even made a splash right away, recording eight RBIs and four extra-base hits in his first three games in pinstripes.
He has been a stellar addition for the Yankees, finally creating some consistency at second. The former shortstop changed positions to fit in with what the Yankees needed, but with the young stars in the minor leagues making waves, Castro might not be what they need for long.
As discussed in the evaluation of his first season, Castro served as the perfect complement to shortstop Didi Gregorius. The Yankees needed youthful replacements for the middle infield, and Gregorius and Castro fit the bill. This season, it seemed that Gregorius settled into his own on the Yankees. Castro did just fine, but he is far more likely to be the one pushed out by incoming players.
Castro himself is only 26 years old and he could find himself losing his position to a younger star, much like when Javier Baez took his position in Chicago. A young star losing out to a younger star is becoming far more common in the major leagues.
Castro’s performance this past season was more than the Yankees could have asked for, especially when you consider that they previously relied on Brian Roberts and Stephen Drew to hold down second base. But since the trade deadline, the Yankees have been accruing more and more prospects that are loading up the farm system.
Gleyber Torres is one of those talents that is making a case to fly through the farm system ranks. Currently a shortstop, Torres was also in the Cubs farm system and actually worked out with Castro. Torres has undeniably proven that he is talented enough to make a difference in the majors, just like Castro did with the Cubs.
Torres just became the youngest player to win the Arizona Fall League MVP at only 19 years old. He led the league in hitting, while also earning two Player of the Week honors. He is currently ranked No. 17 on MLBPipeline.com’s Top 100 Prospects list, and Brian Cashman has confirmed that he will begin the season in Double-A Trenton.
While Torres still has some time to mature in the minors, the minute he has the opportunity to make a splash in the majors, the Yankees will jump on it. That will spell trouble for Castro.
There’s no doubt that Castro is a great player. But with all the talented youth coming up through the ranks, he could easily be pushed aside. With his lengthy contract, the Yankees could even be seeking to trade him, freeing up some space for future purchases in the process. With his talent and clutch hitting, Castro would certainly be an appealing option on the trade market.
Castro has certainly earned his spot at second base for the Yankees, but, sooner or later, Torres will make a run for the majors. And when he does, Castro will be the first to go.