Before we get to Starlin Castro's 2013 Cubs Projections, I wanted to talk a little bit about something else in regard to Castro.
An awful lot has been written about Starlin Castro over his young career. It seems that most of this has been at the two extremes. We've heard and read countless times about how Castro is a future superstar. There have also been a lot of words spilled over what Castro can't do, some of that by myself.
While I do believe that Castro is and likely will be what you have all seen to this point in his career, there's no denying that he's a very good player. He more than earned the 7-year, $70 million contract that begins in 2013 and should easily be worth what he's being paid. He's a valuable player to any team and the Cubs are fortunate to have him for the next 7 years.
Castro has had 1912 plate appearances in his career. He doesn't turn 23 until next month. Here are the only players since 1980 that had more plate appearances than Castro through their age 22 season: Adrian Beltre (1918), Roberto Alomar (1959), Alex Rodriguez (2271), Edgar Renteria (2395) and Ken Griffey Jr. (2422). One of them is already in the HOF and two others should be.
Since 1980, only Griffey, A-Rod and Renteria have more hits than the 529 that Castro already has.
This isn't related to Castro who doesn't rank highly in home runs among these players, but I saw something that surprised me. A-Rod has the most home runs through age 22 of this group with 106. You might have guessed Griffey was next, but it's Giancarlo Stanton with 93. Oh yeah, Stanton has done that in 1498 plate appearances. Among players 22 and under since 1980, nobody has had the power that Stanton has shown so far. Albert Pujols has a higher slugging percentage, but Stanton has the highest ISO and he's done it in a pitcher's park. I didn't realize that.
Castro has been in the league a long time at this point in his career and the names around him are generally very good players.
2013 Cubs Projections
ZiPS is projecting 4 WAR in total while CAIRO is projecting 2.5. PECOTA projects 3.1.
Below are his percentile forecasts, but ignore the PA at the higher end. Castro is projected for so many plate appearances that the spreadsheet I'm using spits out an unrealistic number of PA.