Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


Nick Castellanos to Reds - Fantasy Impact

The winter of the Cincinnati Reds keeps rolling on. They already added some pitching in Wade Miley, a journeyman to play shortstop in Freddy Galvis, a power-hitting monster in Mike Moustakas, and a Japanese leadoff man in Shogo Akiyama. Now, they have secured one of the top outfield targets on the market in Nick Castellanos.

The 27-year-old Castellanos will join the Reds and will finally have a home ballpark that will let his power potential flourish. He spent most of his career hitting in spacious Comerica Park as a member of the Tigers and then half of last season in Wrigley Field once traded to the Cubs. Now, playing in Great American Ball Park he will be hitting in a park that perennially finishes in the top 10 for home runs every season.

Castellanos is not one of the best defenders in baseball and he could really use the universal DH, but for now, he will likely man left field every day for the Reds. The signing of Castellanos makes a crowded Reds outfield even more crowded and we will have to see what happens with Aristides Aquino, Jesse Winker, Nick Senzel and Josh VanMeter. They all have minor league options still available, so that can be a quick fix. But for now, let's look at the fantasy impact for Nick Castellanos as a member of the Reds.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off. Exclusive access to our Draft Kit, premium rankings, projections, player outlooks, top prospects, dynasty rankings, 15 in-season lineup tools, and over 200 days of expert DFS research. Sign Up Now!


Bring On All the Home Runs

Castellanos has always been a very good hitter as a member of the Tigers. Since 2017, he has hit .272 with at least 23 home runs, at least 73 runs scored and at least 73 RBI. These stats are great and all but they could have been much better. In those three seasons, he also had a .202 ISO which is awesome, but also crazy for a player only averaging 25 home runs. The ISO was aided by 140 doubles and 18 triples over that span. 140 DOUBLES!!!! Thank you, Comerica Park.

Comerica does allow home runs if you pull the ball, but from gap to gap it's one of the hardest parks to hit home runs in all of baseball. In the last three seasons, Castellanos has hit anywhere from 55.1% to 61.4% of his balls to center or right-field. The overall power output will change in Cincinnati where the ball flies out to all parts of the yard.

Once he came to the Cubs, his numbers blew up to a level that so many have expected from Castellanos. In the first 100 games with the Tigers in 2019, Castellanos had a stat line of .273-11-57-37-2, but in only 51 games with the Cubs, he was amazing with a stat line of .321-16-43-36-0. Castellanos was raking. The stats that fantasy players love were great but the advanced analytics were even better. With the Tigers last season he had a .189 ISO and a 105 wRC+, which are again not bad. But with the Cubs, he had an amazing .325 ISO and 154 wRC+. Castellanos was flat out raking.

He has always been a Statcast darling. Since 2016, he has had a barrel rate of at least 10.7% with an 11.2% rate in 2019. He has had a hard-hit rate of at least 40.5% since 2017 including a 41.4% rate in 2019. The great stat of xwOBAcon has also been superior for him since 2016 at .443. Imagine those numbers in a great hitters ballpark like Great American Ball Park. His career .333 BABIP will play in any park and is another example of consistently putting his hard contact in play.

The last comparison I will make for Castellanos’s time in Detroit vs elsewhere is his career numbers home versus away. In his career in Comerica, he had only 44 home runs over five and a half seasons. While his time in any other ballpark he hit 76 home runs. He has always mashed outside of Comerica.


What To Expect in 2020

As one can tell from above, Castellanos should flourish in Cincinnati. He is slated to bat fifth in the Reds lineup and he will be surrounded by one of the best-supporting casts he has ever had for a full season. With Akiyama, Votto, Suarez, and Moustakas hitting in front of Castellanos, he should have plenty of chances to drive in runs. The projections have him hitting 28 home runs, but I foresee over 30 home runs if healthy for the whole season. He should have the chance for at least 90 runs and RBI as well. Lastly, he will not hurt your batting average which is always nice for a slugger.

Currently, he is being drafted around pick 118. That number should rise and if you can draft him now at that price you should run. I would imagine we see Castellanos drafted in the 80 range come March.

Lastly, with Castellanos joining the Reds there will be questions on the playing time for the rest of the Reds outfielders. Akiyama is a Shin-Soo Choo type and should be leading off while playing all over the outfield. That leaves one everyday outfield spot available for a mix of Aquino, Senzel, Winker and Van Meter. All of these options have minor league options available, so one or two of these players may start in the minors. Aquino crushed when he was called up, but also struggled at the end of the season. Senzel is coming off of a labrum injury so his situation should be monitored in the spring. He and Van Meter can also be super-utility types, not just outfielders. Winker is an OBP machine and it would be hard to see him not being part of a platoon to start the season. For now, I would focus on Castellanos and Akiyama in drafts, but keep a close eye on Senzel and Winker in the later rounds if positive news comes out during spring training.

More Fantasy Baseball Analysis

More Recent Articles


Bases Loaded Podcast - Relief Pitchers Preview

Mike Kurland (@Mike_Kurland) is joined by Jorge Montanez, Zach Braff and Mike Simione as they jump into their relief pitcher preview! Subscribe to the Bases Loaded podcast, part of RotoBaller Radio's Podcast Network. Like and Subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well!... Read More

2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers - Jose Urquidy

It's been a tumultuous winter for the Houston Astros. Not only were they embroiled in a sign-stealing scandal (which has, naturally, progressed apace to unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about ever more sophisticated methods of cheating), but they watched staff ace Gerrit Cole sign a mammoth free-agent deal with the Yankees. Plenty of virtual ink has been... Read More

2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers - Mark Canha

Mark Canha had a solid 2019 campaign and is one player that probably deserves more attention heading into 2020 than he is currently receiving. He finished the season hitting .273/.396/.517 with 26 HR, 58 RBI, 80 R, and 67 BB in 410 at-bats. It was a very productive line for a guy that played in... Read More

Four Prospect Sleepers for 2020 Redraft Leagues

Recently, Rotoballer launched a list of the Top 50 MLB prospects for the coming year. The top of the list was populated by names such as Gavin Lux, Luis Robert, and Brendan McKay. These players, among others, feature a promising combination of talent and favorable playing time projections to suggest they’ll be the cream-of-the-crop among... Read More

ADP Cost Analysis – Robbie Ray vs Trevor Bauer

With fantasy baseball draft season in full swing, those of us who partake in this joyous game are now looking through as much draft data as possible in a bid to find players we love who have lower average draft positions (ADP) than we believe they should. All this to eke out as much draft... Read More

2020 Keeper Value Rankings - Second Base

Keeper Value Rankings are intended for Keeper Leagues in which a fantasy owner must forfeit a designated draft pick in order to keep a player into the upcoming season. These rankings are based on Keeper "Values". In the marketing world, Value can be defined as "the extent to which a good or service (player) is... Read More

2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers – C.J. Cron

As another fantasy baseball season approaches, we once again have the chance to discuss C.J. Cron as a fantasy sleeper. Cron will be playing for his third team in three seasons. It is tough to wrap one's head around the idea that a player of Cron's talent continues to be undervalued by professional and fantasy... Read More

2020 Starting Pitcher Rankings - H2H Points Leagues

Points leagues may seem like a slight variation from traditional 5x5 category scoring leagues but you must approach draft day with a very different strategy if you wish to truly compete. All preseason long, RotoBaller has you covered with the latest rankings for all fantasy baseball league types. Here we present our points league rankings... Read More

Second-Half Improvements: Buy Into These Starting Pitchers

The second half of the season is always put under a microscope for starting pitchers. Fantasy players have a love for the second half of the season, as the belief is that pitchers who take a step forward could carry over that success the next season and perhaps even build upon it. But, as we... Read More

How to Attack RP in SV+HLD Leagues

No position has seen as much evolution in recent seasons as the relief pitcher. Gone are the days where starters were expected to go seven innings as most teams have embraced the idea of "super-bullpening" and try to fit as many pitchers that can throw 95+ MPH into their bullpen as they can. Many fantasy... Read More

Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: Pitch Info

One of the most fundamental questions in fantasy sports is if a player's current performance is sustainable. More than any other sport, baseball has a slew of statistical measures that can be dissected in numerous ways to analyze player performance. Pitch Info is a publicly-available pitch tracking system that provides a lot of different data to... Read More

2020 Fantasy Baseball Staff Rankings

Below you will find RotoBaller's 2020 fantasy baseball rankings, tiers and auction dollar values for the 2020 MLB season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Mixed, Head-to-Head, Points, AL/NL Only, Two-Catcher Top 2020 prospects, Dynasty leagues, Keeper values Export the rankings easily... Read More

Mock Draft Review: Best Late-Round Targets

Last week, some members of the RotoBaller staff completed a 12-team mock draft for standard 5x5 format. After the draft, we each broke down our strategy and some of our favorite picks, which can be found here. However, I want to take a closer look at one portion of the draft in particular. Since we know that... Read More

Faster and Furious: Pitchers with Rising Velocity/Performance

Welcome fantasy baseball players! I’m sure that you, like me, are anxiously counting down the days until your drafts and Opening Day. While the fantasy season may not start for several weeks, there are plenty of things we can do to start preparing for a successful season. One of those things is to take a good... Read More

James Karinchak Is A Relief Pitcher To Know in 2020

One of the lesser-known players that intrigues me for the 2020 MLB season is Indians relief pitcher James Karinchak. The former Bryant Bulldog was drafted by Cleveland in the ninth round in the 2017 draft and went on to have one of the most outrageous statistical seasons in minor league baseball history. As someone who... Read More