Jason Castro‘s 2013 season is shaping up to be the best ever by an Astros catcher. With more than a month remaining, Castro has already established new single-season franchise records for homeruns and doubles. Castro continues to hit the ball with authority and his line drive percentage of 26.4 ranks fifth in the A.L.
We saw some signs of improvement during the last four or five weeks of the 2012 season. But this year, Castro has taken his game to the next level — not just offensively, but defensively as well. He has shown tremendous progress in his ability to block pitches in the dirt, something that he was unable to do in his first two seasons in the majors.
Castro was the obvious selection to represent Houston at this year’s All-Star Game. And as the season has progressed, he has only gotten better. Jason has been one of the hottest hitters in the league for the month of August — as is evidenced by his recent A.L. Player of the Week Award. So far this month Castro has posted a .360/.479/.653 slash line. For the season, he is now hitting .282/.359/.499.
Bo Porter has done a nice job of keeping Castro fresh by utilizing him as the DH. Castro has started 92 games behind the plate and 16 as the DH. Castro’s season has been one of the best all-around by an Astros player in recent memory.
Even though one future Hall of Famer started his career in Houston as a catcher, he was eventually moved to second base and the Astros have never had an MVP-type of season from the catcher’s position. The best season by a backstop in franchise history belongs to Joe Ferguson. In 1977, Ferguson produced a 4.8 WAR — hitting 16 homers, driving in 61 runs and posting an OPS of .814.
By season’s end Castro will have surpassed Ferguson’s numbers and will take his place among the following Astros legends as the best at his position.
Even though Berkman was primarily a leftfielder in ’01 I had to include him for the sake of all the Lance lovers out there. (Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports)
1B – 1994 Jeff Bagwell 8.2 WAR
2B – 1997 Craig Biggio 9.4 WAR
3B – 2005 Morgan Ensberg 6.3 WAR
SS – 1983 Dickie Thon 7.4 WAR
LF – 1984 Jose Cruz 6.3 WAR
CF – 1972 Cesar Cedeno 8.0 WAR
RF – 2001 Lance Berkman 6.5 WAR