This move should be reminiscent to last year’s trade of David Carpenter to Houston for Pedro Feliz. Carpenter was a quality middle relief prospect that was buried on the depth chart and wasn’t a long term component of the Cardinals’ plans. The team moved him for Pedro Feliz who was hitting .221/.243/.311 at the time.
Alex Castellanos is not someone to lose sleep over. He’s behind both Andrew Brown and Aaron Luna on the corner outfielder depth chart. Castellanos was an adequate defender in a corner outfield position with enough of an arm to play right field. Castellanos’ prospect status resided firmly on his bat and his ability to hit for power. While he’s shown impressive power in the past (.192 ISO at Palm Beach in 2010), his .243 ISO was, in part, aided by the friendly confines of Hammons Field.
Castellanos was hitting for average this season though that was something he had struggled with in the past. A .387 BABIP would seem to indicate that he hsan’t really learned a new skill so much as gotten lucky this year. The strikeout and walk rates for Castellanos are certainly blemishes on his approach at the plate. A free swinger, he was capable of hitting the ball a long way or not at all.
The Cardinals are betting on Rafael Furcal to be healthy. He’s not the anemic lost cause that Pedro Feliz was in 2010 so there’s more reason to be optimistic about this swap. Castellanos, who turns 25 on Thursday, is unlikely to be a star for the Dodgers. Much as they did when they traded David Carpenter, the Cardinals are patching a big league hole from some minor league depth of questionable long term value. It’s a clear win for the Cardinals.
Best of luck to Alex Castellanos on his new endeavors in the Dodgers farm system.