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Former Rockies 3B Castilla big fan of Arenado

MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

DENVER -- Vinny Castilla set the standard at third base for the expansion Rockies during the 1990s, and he is proud to see current third baseman Nolan Arenado setting the standard at the position.

Before visiting Denver-area schools and hospitals Tuesday as part of the Rockies Winter Caravan, Castilla sang Arenado's praises on MLB Network's Hot Stove program via FaceTime.

DENVER -- Vinny Castilla set the standard at third base for the expansion Rockies during the 1990s, and he is proud to see current third baseman Nolan Arenado setting the standard at the position.

Before visiting Denver-area schools and hospitals Tuesday as part of the Rockies Winter Caravan, Castilla sang Arenado's praises on MLB Network's Hot Stove program via FaceTime.

Castilla played for the Rockies from 1993-99, 2004 and '06, and hit 239 home runs and drove in 745 runs for Colorado, and he represented the club in the All-Star Game in 1995 and '98. After his career, Castilla raised his family in the Denver area and joined the front office as a special assistant to the general manager. Castilla worked with Arenado in instructional ball after the Rockies selected him in the second round of the 2009 Draft out of Lake Forest (Calif.) High School.

Video: Castilla and the Rockies caravan

Castilla has gone from mentor to admirer.

"Right now for me, [Arenado is] one of the top three, top five best players in the game," Castilla said. "Just watching him play every day, the way he goes about his business -- he's very intense, guys. He doesn't take anything for granted. His batting practice is intense. When he takes ground balls, it's just great to watch him work every day.

"When we talk, we talk about baseball -- some hitting, some defense. He's a guy who knows what he's doing. I just love watching him work and watching him play every day."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies