Gemini and co-star Willi Castro minor league deal agreed upon, reports SKOR Radio North’s Darren Wolfson. Castro will receive an invitation to major league Spring Training.
Castro, who turned 26 in April, first broke ground with the Tigers in 2019 and has been playing a supporting role for them ever since. It showed some exciting raw gadgets, but struggled overall to get it completely off the bat. He has made 24 home runs in 303 games so far in his career, but has only walked 4.7% of his trips and shot 24.1% of his trips. The hit line is currently .245/.292/.381 for the 86 wRC+, which is 14% below the league average. Inconsistency seems to be a factor in its operation on the plate, as it’s only in the 10th percentile for barrel rate and hard-hit rate and the 79th percentile for max output velocity. In other words, he can smash the ball, but he doesn’t do it very often.
But he has other qualities besides that intermittent strength. His sprint speed is at 78 percent in the league, which has helped him steal nine bases in each of the last two seasons. He also has all-round defense as he plays all three outfield positions and three home positions to the left of first base. Arm strength is in the 87th percentile and the outfielder is in the 78th percentile. As a key hitter, he brings versatility to the other side of his game as well.
Castro exceeded the three-year service limit in 2022, qualifying for arbitration for the first time this winter. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz predicted a salary raise of $1.7 million in 2023. However, their struggle was enough for the Tigers to decide to move on, as they did not bid on Castro on the November deadline.
For the twins, they had a mountain of injury in 2022, which makes adding some depth to 2023 a logical move. They’re currently packed with outfielders, which means Castro’s best way to recapture a roster spot is likely to be home. The most likely arrangement on land at the moment is Luis Arraez basically, Jorge Polanco Secondly, Kyle Farmer at the stopper and Jose Miranda in the third Nick Gordon He may be in the support/home position for now, but he’s also in the away mix. Royce Lewis Down the line may be a factor, but a tear in his right knee is healing for the second year in a row from anterior cruciate ligament surgery and is not expected to return until mid-season.
If Castro manages to get into Minnesota’s plans, he still has a one-year option, which will allow the club to shuffle him between Triple-A and the majors throughout the year. If it’s impressive enough to move forward with its future plans, it can be held through arbitration until at least 2025.