New Cubs outfielder Nicholas Castellanos only has 11 home runs this season, but that total could double over the remainder of his time in Chicago. The right-handed hitter has a reputation as an abuser of left-handed pitching, but he’s also a doubles machine who has hit exactly twice as many two-baggers (208) as homers (104) in his career.
That former total includes an MLB-leading 37 doubles, many of which have been hit into the spacious alleys at Comerica Park. Interestingly enough, he’s actually hit more on the road this year and the splits are nearly even overall (105 home, 103 road), but Wrigley is a different animal. And if Castellanos just continues to hit like he has throughout his career, the welcoming power alleys in his new home park should yield a power surge.
Just take a look at this overlay of his batted-ball spray chart with Wrigley’s dimensions (separate image included for those viewing on network that blocks social media).
— Brad (@ballskwok) August 1, 2019
By my count, that’s 33 homers (maybe some tweeners) if he’d played every single game at Wrigley. But we’ve got to cut that roughly in half since Rob Manfred is a big jerk and makes the Cubs — and every other team, from what I’m told — play half their games in other ballparks. And since Castellanos actually played two fewer games in Detroit than on the road, we’ll just say he’d have hit 16 homers at Wrigley.
That’s 13 more than he hit at Comerica, which would bring his season total up to a very respectable 24. If we extrapolate that out somewhat conservatively and say that he maintains his hypothetical pace while playing in 23 of the Cubs’ final 27 games at Wrigley, he’ll hit another 7-8 homers in that time. Add that to an estimated 4 more on the road and he’s right there at 22 dingers.
While that would still fall shy of his totals from the past two seasons (26, 23), it gives the Cubs an even more potent bat to slot in at 2-6 in their lineup.