Tigers rookie third baseman Nick Castellanos makes a catch during infield drills on Wednesday in Lakeland, Fla. (Elizabeth Conley / Detroit News)
The Tigers placed two prospects in Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects, which were unveiled on the MLB Network on Wednesday night, led by their expected Opening Day third baseman, Nick Castellanos.
Castellanos, 22, checked in at No. 25 on the list, while second baseman Devon Travis, who turns 23 on Friday, was No. 84.
Castellanos made his major league debut last season in a September call-up, hitting .278 in 18 at-bats. The cameo followed a season at Triple A Toledo in which he hit .276 with 18 home runs, 76 RBIs and a .793 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage). His 147 hits ranked second in the International League.
He did all of this while playing left field, though he’ll move back to his familiar spot at third in Detroit, where he’ll likely step in for Miguel Cabrera, who’s moving back to first base following the offseason trade of Prince Fielder to the Rangers.
“Few prospects have a weightier burden,” Baseball America wrote in its rankings. “Castellanos must reacquaint himself with third base and contribute offensively to a team with legitimate World Series aspirations.”
Castellanos was ranked No. 15 in MLB.com’s list of top 100 prospects, released in December, and No. 32 by ESPN’s Keith Law, who released his rankings in late January.
Travis, meanwhile, is coming off a breakout season in which he hit a combined .351 with 16 home runs, 76 RBIs, and 22 stolen bases at Single A stops in West Michigan and Lakeland.
He was a 13th-round draft pick by the Tigers in 2012 out of Florida State.