Hopefully Starlin Castro is not Dominican for "Bobby Hill"
It appears the Cubs Propaganda Machine is firing its opening salvos in its carpet bombing campaign to sell us loyal faithful Cub fans on shortstop prospect Starlin Castro.
Those of us who remember the lean years after Sammy Sosa saved baseball, can remember how the Chicago media, orchestrated by Andy MacPhail and John McDonough, had "super-prospects" Corey Patterson, Hee Seop Choi and Bobby Hill shoved down our throats. In the beginning of this decade, for whatever reason, the minor league scouting organizations were sold on these three guys as the saviors of our franchise, our very-own home grown position-playing products that would come up en masse around 2001 and man center field, first base, and shortstop for a dozen or so years. Therefore, we would be free from having to spend valuable resources chasing down high-priced free agents to fill these spots. We needed hope at the time, and Hill, Choi and Patterson were the hope of the future.
Of course, since these guys were all products of the Cubs Farm System 2000, none of them learned a thing about plate discipline, and out of the three, only Corey is still hanging on the fringes of the game at this time.
So, now, we need a leadoff man. We need team speed. And we all know that, for a shortstop, Ryan Theriot is a pretty decent second baseman. Along comes a shortstop prospect with a pulse, albeit one born in 1990 (!?! I freakin' have KIDS older than Castro!!). Dumbing this down to its simplest, assuming Castro was ready for the majors right stumpin' now, would he fill a hole?
Question? If he was so damn ready, why wasn't he up with us in September, so we could expose him for what he was, like we did with Tyler Colvin? It would have been nice to see him get 30 or so at-bats against semi-big league pitching. Would have been nice to see if he was as good in the field as Theriot, let alone Andres Blanco?
Don't get me wrong, I'd LOVE to see a 19 year old kid come up and sheep-dog-hump the league for us. That just doesn't hardly ever happen. And let's think about all the farm talk of the last year.
Jake Fox was molesting AAA. Josh Vitters was the central part of the Peavy package. Colvin was on his way back. I don't remember hearing jack splat about Starlin Castro. So why now? What has happened between the end of the season and now?
The cynical amongst us may theorize that the brain trust got together and came to the same conclusion I have had for months - that "Theriot wasn't much of a shortstop nor a viable leadoff candidate. Let's see, who do we have out there? Blanco? No, can't hit dick, no, no.......Darwin Barney? Eeewww! Gross!! Who else?......Johnathon Mota? Gawd, he hit .238 in Tennessee, anyone else...Castro? What, Fidel? No, what's his name....Oh Yeah, Starlin! Hey, that's a great name! A Star's Name! Yeah, let's pimp HIM to the masses..."
So is he for real? Is he being floated up there as a smokescreen to excuse our lack of off-season activity towards obtaining a REAL leadoff hitter? Or is he going to get rushed out there way too soon, in the fine tradition of Cubs uber-prospects like Patterson, Choi, Joe Carter?
I'm not going to say anything pithy, like REMEMBER THE NAME...because first of all, I know nothing about this guy, and am in no position to pimp him to you all, and secondly, it appears the Cubs themselves plan to push him all up in our faces, so fat chance you're going to forget Starlin Castro. For better or worse.