Nick Castellanos, the Tigers’ top prospect entering 2013, will get the chance to be Detroit’s starter at third base in 2014 with the trade of Prince Fielder, general manager Dave Dombrowski said.
“We’re looking at Nick Castellanos as our third baseman,” Dombrowski told reporters. “Miguel Cabrera is going to first base for us.”
The righthanded-hitting Castellanos, who’ll play next season at age 22, grades for some scouts as a 70 hitter with 55 power on the 20-80 scale. That could translate into peak seasons with a .300 average, 20 homers and 40 doubles.
He hit .276/.343/.450 with 18 home runs in 533 at-bats at Triple-A Toledo this season, pacing the International League with 37 doubles and 81 runs scored.
The Tigers moved Castellanos to right field at Double-A Erie in the second half of 2012, but he always appeared more comfortable at third base, where he could be a 50 fielder with a 55 arm. Some scouts note that Castellanos occasionally appears timid and stiff at the hot corner. Still, he has more range at third than Cabrera and could be as sound from a fundamental standpoint.