DETROIT -- The latest Tiger of the Year remains a Tiger, at least for now. Nicholas Castellanos, whose offensive breakthrough carried a rebuilt, injury-depleted lineup, was selected for the honor Thursday by the Detroit chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.Castellanos received 19 of 20 first-place votes, with the
DETROIT -- The latest Tiger of the Year remains a Tiger, at least for now. Nicholas Castellanos, whose offensive breakthrough carried a rebuilt, injury-depleted lineup, was selected for the honor Thursday by the Detroit chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
Castellanos received 19 of 20 first-place votes, with the other going to reliever Joe Jimenez. It's Castellanos' first Tiger of the Year Award, given annually to the most valuable player on the team from that season.
Castellanos was in consideration for last year's award, but he fell short to Justin Upton, whose work before his July 2017 trade to the Angels made him the first Tiger of the Year to not end the season with Detroit. Castellanos was also under trade speculation, but he spent the entire season with the Tigers on his way to leading the team in most major offensive categories.
The 26-year-old right fielder finished finished with a .298 batting average, good for ninth among American League hitters. Castellanos' 46 doubles ranked fourth in the AL, to go with 23 home runs, 89 RBIs and an .854 OPS.
Castellanos' 2.9 Wins Above Replacement, according to the Baseball-Reference formula, actually tied him for the team lead with starter Mike Fiers, who was traded to Oakland in early August. By the Fangraphs formula, however, his 3.0 WAR easily led the club over Jose Iglesias and Jeimer Candelario.
Castellanos also finished in the AL's top 10 with 157 games played (ninth), 185 hits (third), 74 extra-base hits (eighth), 111 Runs Created (eighth) and 3.4 Win Probability Added (ninth). Though Castellanos ranked last among Major League outfielders with minus-25 Outs Above Average according to Statcast™, he finished second in the AL with 10 outfield assists.
Castellanos will receive his award during a Detroit home game next season. Whether he's still a Tiger by then remains to be seen. The club is open to trading Castellanos, who's on track to become a free agent next offseason. So far, trade interest has been light, and general manager Al Avila has said he's open to keeping Castellanos through next season and potentially receive a Draft pick as compensation should he leave in free agency.
"Good trades are hard to come by when you are dealing with players that are [with] one year or less of control," Avila told reporters Wednesday from Major League Baseball's GM Meetings in Carlsbad, Calif.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.