Epstein excited about Castro's potential

Starlin Castro had 207 hits in 2011, leading the National League. Debby Wong/US Presswire

There were times this year when Chicago Cubs manager Mike Quade was frustrated with Starlin Castro, especially defensively.

But new president of baseball operations Theo Epstein was nothing but optimistic about his 21-year-old shortstop, who was the Cubs' lone All-Star this season.

"This kid is only 21 years old, most 21-year-olds are maybe getting to High-A ball and thinking about sniffing Double-AA," Epstein said Wednesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000.

Castro made 29 errors in 2011 and had a .961 fielding percentage this year, but he led the National League with 207 hits.

"When Derek Jeter was just about the same age he made 56 errors in the low minor leagues," Epstein said. "[With] defense especially there is maturation that only comes with time and experience.

"Offensively, the things he has done is what guys who go on to be ten-time All-Stars and Hall of Famers do. Again it's our jobs as management to get to know him and help him reach his ceiling, and in his case his ceiling is immense. ... This kid has a chance to be a great all-around player, not just one with tremendous physical ability."