All The Boys In The Band Know How To Get Down – 2019 Sox Player Reviews: Welington Castillo

2019 Stats


12 HR 41 RBI

6.4 BB% 29.5 K%

.287 wOBA 78 wRC+ .684 OPS

-10 Defensive Runs Saved (ouch)


Tell Me A Story: Ahhh Beef Welington. The latest in the long line of White Sox free agent signings that made me go “I like it!” and ended with “give this asshole to Elon Musk and let him fire him to the moon.” Almost immediately his two-year, $15 million dollar contract proved to be a ginormous mistake when he was busted for PEDs in May of 2018. This resulted in an 80-game suspension that lasted till the middle of September, after which he hit a very pedestrian .241/.293/.478.

Castillo said he was going to double down on his efforts over the winter to make sure the Sox got their money’s worth out of him. Undeterred, Rick Hahn came up with a Plan B in the form of James McCann, which turned out to be a very wise move indeed. Castillo came out of the gate in April sputtering, only managing to hit .204 while McCann blasted everything thrown at him. It wasn’t long after where Castillo began to lose more and more playing time to McCann, essentially relegated to being Reynaldo Lopez’ personal catcher before long.

Castillo was brought aboard the team strictly for his ability to hit for power, which while not ending up as Yonder Alonso-levels of shitty, was still not what the Sox thought they’d be getting when they signed him to the deal. In 2017 with the Orioles he hit .282 with 20 home runs with a 25% K-rate. With the Sox, his K-rate spiked to 29% and he only managed to hit 12 bombs. His career line drive rate of 21% was merely wishful thinking in 2019 as it fell to a career low 16.5%. His hard hit rate also dropped about 6% during his tenure with the Sox. I’m not going to say the lack of PEDs in his system resulted in this power dip, but I’m also not not saying it.

His defense became an issue as well. In the past, Castillo was a bat-first defender but had posted a few years with a positive DRS score, most recently in 2017 with the Diamondbacks when he was a +3. In the month of September in 2018 he managed a -6, and then in 2019 it all fell apart. Any ball in the dirt or above his shoulders was going to the backstop, and he made the entire thing look like he was being attacked by a swarm of bees.

The Sox were in the bottom 3rd of the league in allowing passed balls with 13. A whopping nine of them were attributed to Castillo. When you consider the fact that he was only the primary catcher in less than a quarter of the games the Sox played, that’s pretty fucking terrible.

Contract: Team option for 2020 at $8 million dollars with a $500,000 buyout, which the Sox will exercise.

Welcome Back Or Boot In The Ass: Big ole boot in the ass for this one. The Sox will exercise the $500,000 buyout for Castillo’s last year and send him on down the road like sad Bruce Banner in the Hulk TV show. With Zack Collins and James McCann available for catching duties and the looming possibility of Yasmani Grandal being available it makes zero sense to keep Big Beef Welington around. I’d say it’s been fun, but that would only be true if I were comparing it to the time Yonder Alonso spent here. Hard pass on both.

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James McCann



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