The Cardinals drafted Castellanos in the 10th round in the 2008 draft out of Belmont Abbey College as a draft-eligible sophomore. Castellanos put up some good numbers across Johnson City and Batavia with a .884 OPS. However, a trend in his batting was started that has continued the next three years. Across those two leagues, Castellanos struck out 52 times and walked 10.
In 2009, he was moved up to full season Quad Cities and had a solid if unspectacular year in which he sported a 12% line drive rate, but was putting more balls in play as fly balls (35%) than average and continuing to strike out in bunches. He had 89 Ks to 20 walks in ~350 PAs. But, with 21 doubles, 4 triples and 5 home runs, when he does get a hold of the ball, something good happens. That got Castellanos a late promotion to Palm Beach where he struggled in ~50 PAs.
In 2010, his full season in A+ at Palm Beach put him on the map with prospect watchers. His .370 wOBA, .802 OPS and improved 16% line drive rate helped him to 33 doubles, 7 triples and 13 HRs in a pitcher’s league. With all these triples, Castellanos’s speed in apparent and in his 4 seasons in the minor leagues, he has 62 stolen bases and only 18 times caught. That sort of success puts his Fangraphs Speed Score up with the major league leaders in the category.
However, in Palm Beach in 2010, he did strike out 109 times and only walk 38.
Castellanos is off to a huge start in 2011, but at this point it looks slightly unsustainable because he has hit home runs on 16.1% of his balls hit in the air. (Around 6.5% is average.)
Looking at the stats, it is pretty clear what type of player Castellanos is so far in his career. He will swing for the fences and is happy to go down swinging while trying. He will not try to work a walk and his OBP will not be much more than his AVG. But when he hits the ball it will go very far and he has the ability to stretch a single into a double and double into a triple which helps his slugging numbers. Once on base, he also has dangerous speed to steal bases at will. Castellanos is an intriguing prospect based on his power and speed numbers, but will need to cut down on the strikeouts and add some walks to really push his prospect status to the next level.