Castellanos starting to get some hits

Detroit Tigers rookie third baseman Nick Castellanos seems to be getting a little more comfortable at the plate.

Nick Castellanos

Nick Castellanos

#9 3B
Detroit Tigers

2014 STATS

  • GM51
  • HR5

  • RBI21

  • R15

  • OBP.315

  • AVG.271

He's banged out three hits in each of the last three games, the last two of which the Tigers have won. He had three hits and a home run against the Red Sox in Saturday’s victory.

Castellanos hit .233 in both April and May, but is now 11 for 18 in June to raise his batting average considerably. He's slowly beginning to emerge as a solid player in an American League rookie class that is abundant with talent.

He's the fourth player to have three straight three-hit games this season, joining Justin Upton, Miguel Cabrera and Xander Bogaerts. He'll try for four in a row on Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN.

How he’s hitting

The key to the turnaround, at least these last three days, has been Castellanos’ ability to hit the outside pitch. Six of his nine hits have come against pitches on the outer half of the plate (which he’s been able to hook to left field or left center). He’s only missed on one of his 14 swings against outer-half pitches.

That’s a major improvement.

Prior to that, he was missing on 39 percent of swings against outside pitches and had more than five times as many missed swings (88) as he had base hits (17) against those pitches.

Five of the nine hits have come against left-handed pitching, against which he was 10 for 47 prior to this hot stretch.

What else can improve

Another area in which Castellanos could use improvement is on the defensive side. He entered Saturday with -7 Defensive Runs Saved, which ranked second worst among major-league third basemen in 2014.