LOVE TO WATCH THE KIDS PLAY

The ultimate supersub Wilkin Castillo got the September callup from the Cincinnati Reds, despite the fact that he batted only .246 at Triple A. I fell in love with this intriguing prospect when I saw him last year at the Arizona Fall League. Castillo is a switch hitter, but what makes Wilkin exceptional is his versatility. Although his primary position is catcher, he grew up playing SS, and I saw him at secondbase, but truth be told, he can play anywhere on the field. Today against the Buccos he’s in leftfeld and he nailed a ball that bounced over the wall for a ground rule double.

Everybody seems to know about Jed Lowrie of the Boston Red Sox. Lowrie has been doing the job for the Bosox in a pennant race filling in at both SS & 3B, but before he got the callup, I remembered Jed as the switch hitting middle infielder with a little pop I’d seen go yard for a walkoff homer in the AFL.

I saw Chris Dickerson play for the Reds in spring training the same day I watched Jay Bruce, Johhny Cueto, and Joey Votto. While I was impressed with the other three youngsters I was to see that day, Dickerson did not impress me. Chris is the nephew of former NFL great running back Eric Dickerson, and while he could run like the wind, there’s one thing that is vastly different between success in baseball and success in football, the ability to hit a curveball. This youngster really didn’t put up the numbers in the minors before this year. Well something must’ve clicked because Dickerson has responded well since his callup to Cincinnati. He got a chance to play when Ken Griffey, Jr. was dealt to the Chicago White Sox, and really came through, hitting six home runs in his first 19 big league ballgames (only the 2nd Red in the team’s history with five homers in his first twenty contests). The 6’3″ 225 lefthanded batter has done quite a bit in his short time in the majors, six homers, 7 doubles, 2 triples, five steals, while batting .320, all this in only 75 ABs. While I might’ve overlooked this 26 year old, it’s going to be hard to overlook him if he keeps playing the way he’s been thus far.

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