At this point, Jason Castro has done a pretty good job of proving that he belonged on this year’s All-Star team. It does not matter that he did not see any playing time in the game. You can’t make the argument that Castro was only selected to the team because the Astros needed to have a representative. The catcher simply deserved it.
This week, it was announced that Castro had won Player of the Week honors for the second time this season. Here is his stat line from the week that led to the honor:
.529 batting average, 9-17, 2 2B, 3 HR, 5 RBI
While the Astros offense as a whole has begun to click and find a groove, Castro might be the biggest beneficiary of the recent stabilization to the lineup. After starting the season off well, he cooled off hitting .239 in June and .253 in July. Even though Bo Porter has used the DH spot to his advantage to rest Castro, it would be understandable for the playing time to catch up with him.
So far this season, Castro has logged 410 at-bats, which is well over the 257 he had with the Astros last year after missing all of 2011 due to injury. But to Castro’s credit, he has had a resurgence and through Monday is batting .357 in August with five home runs and 13 RBI’s. Those are good numbers in total for a month, and Castro still has another week’s worth of games to add to that. On the season, he is hitting .280 with 18 HR’s and 52 RBI’s. As the Astros continue on their path towards being a contender, I will certainly not have a problem with a catcher who hits .280 with 20-25 HR’s and drives in 60-70 runs. Based on this season, that is very possible production from Castro.
However, to get the full picture of Castro, you also need to consider his defense. All season he has had to work with a young pitching staff in flux. Over the last month or so, young starters like Jarred Cosart, Brett Oberholtzer, and Brad Peacock have begun to emerge. That is something that Castro deserves credit for as well. And it also should be noted that it clearly has not taken away from his offensive production.