It was 11:25 PM on the East Coast when Jeff Passan broke the news.
Everyone on Twitter went berzerk. The Phillies had signed Nick Castellanos only a few days after they signed Kyle Schwarber. The lineup just got that much deeper.
Castellanos didn’t have the first year he, or the fans, anticipated when the Phillies signed him to a 5-year, $100 million contract in March of 2022. He had a lot of ups and downs In his first year as a Phillie, but his 2023 season saw a bounce-back season that earned him an all-star appearance.
With Bryce Harper still not able to play, the Phillies were looking like they did before the hiring of Rob Thomson and Nick Castellanos was one of the few bright spots of the team during that time.
How can we expect the 2024 season to go for the right-fielder?
Nick Castellanos was the most consistent hitter in the first half of the 2023 season, hitting .301 before the All-Star break. That earned him a spot on the National League All-Star team, one of the Phillies’ two representatives.
The numbers weren’t the same after the All-Star break, causing him to drop down to the eighth spot in the batting lineup so he could find his swing again. He finished with a .272 batting average, 29 home runs, and 106 RBI (lead team).
What can we expect from Castellanos in 2024? Another solid season. I expect him to hit around .285-.290, at least 28 home runs, and over 90 RBI this season. Maybe this gets him another all-star nod, but the outfield is loaded with talent in the National League. If the consistency is there for Castellanos this season, it’s going to be very difficult to pitch around him in the lineup.
Nick Castellanos is not known for his defensive ability, but he’s made some great plays as a Phillie and was decent in the outfield this past season. He wasn’t expected to play right field much, but both he and Kyle Schwarber had to stay in the outfield full-time after Bryce Harper tore his UCL. Now that Harper is expected to be at first base full-time, Castellanos is staying in right field.
What can we expect from him in right field this season? About the same, and that is perfectly fine. He can make plays and didn’t have any costly errors. If Johan Rojas is in center field on Opening Day, Castellanos will have even less responsibility since he covers so much ground.
When Alec Bohm got caught saying how much he hated this place, it was Nick who helped him handle it. A year later, when asked about Trea Turner’s struggles, Castellanos put the contract length into perspective and advocated for the shortstop. Nick Castellanos is calm, cool, and collected on the field and he takes that approach into the clubhouse when helping his teammates. I can expect the same this year, perhaps with even more attitude and flair.
Nick Castellanos is going into the third year of his five-year contract. He has been huge in playoff games, the consistency just needs to be there and I believe we’ll see that this year. He’s going to play a crucial role in advancing through the postseason.
Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)