According to Mark Anderson of TigsTown.com, Nick Castellanos will be playing in the Arizona Fall League (AFL) this fall. Dave Dombrowski confirmed this through Mark via a discussion yesterday.
He’ll likely be playing for the Salt River Rafters out of the West Division of the Arizona Fall League.
This is a wise decision by Dave and the Tigers organization to send Nick to the AFL in my opinion. It gives Nick the opportunity to get more AB (at bats), more time to learn how to play right field, and most importantly, more general baseball experience.
In the last few weeks or so, Nick has been learning to play the right field position at Double-A Erie. This is impart to Nick being blocked at third base at the big league level by Miguel Cabrera. Learning to play the right field position gives Nick the best opportunity to play in the majors possibly at the end of the year or the next 4-5 years or so until Miguel vacates third base.
Castellanos’ hitting skills are without question, the best in the Tigers farm system. He can flat out rake.
Starting the season at High-A Lakland, Nick was hitting a cool .405 with 3 HR and 32 RBI. At both High-A Lakeland and Double-A Erie, he’s hitting a combined .359 with 9 HR and 51 RBI. That’s 415 AB worth of production. Sure, he strikes out more than he walks but, he’s still just 20 years old. Still a lot time for him to learn plate discipline and pitch recognition.
If Nick can go into the AFL, takes care of business, play well in Spring Training, we could possibly be talking about him making the 25-man roster in the Spring of 2013. That’s how take talented this kid is.