Every year, there are usually players that don’t meet expectations in baseball whether it’s a pitcher or batter. Some are notable, and others go a little more under the radar. Here is a batter from each position struggling to meet expectations this far into the season:
Catcher- Welington Castillo, Chicago White Sox
Welington Castillo has put together some pretty solid years in the past. This year is different. As of August 6, Castillo has a line of .184/.262/.340 with just five homers. His career line is a much better at .254/.314/.420. The decline is clear so far for Castillo. He is still just 32 years old, so he will likely play for a few more season and give himself a chance to bounce back. James McCann has played in his spot this season, and was even named to his first career All-Star game in July.
First Base- Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
Joey Votto has somewhat turned things around, but his line of .261/.350/.406 is on pace to be the worst of his career. He has a career OBP of .422 and is known for walking a bunch, but this year is different. Votto’s power is also down, as he currently has just above a .400 slugging percentage. The Reds are also in a tough spot trying to come from behind in the NL Central, and Votto’s bat heating up can certainly help this club down the stretch.
Second Base- Travis Shaw, Milwaukee Brewers
Travis Shaw has performed so poorly this season that he was sent down to Triple-A San Antonio on June 28. The batter is slashing just .164/.278/.290. Rookie Keston Hiura hasn’t helped him either as he is raking for Milwaukee this season. Shaw was recalled officially on July 26, and is just 2-for-14 since. This is bizarre considering the 29-year-old hit 32 homers just last season. He still has some time to turn things around and become postseason ready for a contending Brewers team.
Third Base- Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals
Matt Carpenter is one of a few surprisingly struggling Cardinals hitters this season. He’s been dealing with some nagging injuries, so that may be playing a role in his lackluster performance. Carpenter, like others on this list, is having by far his worst full-season by far. The 33-year-old is slashing just .212/.315/.364 as of August 6. He’s also in the same boat as Votto in that he’s in a tight NL Central division. Carpenter definitely wants to improve by the end of this season, especially if St. Louis makes the postseason.
Shortstop- Addison Russell, Chicago Cubs
Addison Russell is currently in Triple-A Iowa. That’s because he just couldn’t get things going this season. He has just six homers to go with a slash line of .242/.329/.404. He’s also on a tough Cubs roster that now has Javier Baez and David Bote in the middle infield, along with newly acquired Tony Kemp. Russell could be rebuilding some confidence with Iowa, as he’s hitting .264/.368/.500 in 19 games. The team may give him one last shot before their possible playoff run.
Left Field- Wil Myers, San Diego Padres
Former Rookie of the Year Award winner Wil Myers is having a down year thus far. He has just 13 homers and 14 doubles through 108 games, which is below average for him. The 28-year-old has been hitting somewhat better since the All-Star break. His line since then is .267/.340/.400. The power isn’t there, but he’s getting on base which could give him confidence moving forward for the rest of the season.
Center Field- Jackie Bradley Jr., Boston Red Sox
Jackie Bradley Jr. is more known for his fielding, but he’s still hitting failing to meet some people’s expectations as a batter this season. At the mid-summer classic, Bradley Jr. was hitting a mere .233/.330/.398. It only got worse for him at the plate since the All-Star break, as his line since that game is just .192/.276/.385. Bradley Jr. is still playing some good defense for Boston, but the team certainly wouldn’t mind him picking things up at the plate as this AL Wild Card race pursues.
Right Field- Stephen Piscotty, Oakland Athletics
Stephen Piscotty has struggled this season (obviously, that’s why he’s on the list.) Anyway, he’s hitting .244/.310/.388 through just 38 games due to injuries. He is currently sitting at nine homers on the year, a third of his 2018 total of 27. Since his return from injury on August 3, he is 3-for-10 through three games. He and the Athletics hope to see him keep that up for the last few months of the regular season.
Designated Hitter- Kendrys Morales, New York Yankees
The Yankees acquired Kendrys Morales on May 14 in hopes that he would provide some offense while many guys on the team were injured. Through 53 games, he’s batting .194/.313/.253. More specifically, he slashed .177/.320/.242 in 19 games with the Yankees. These aren’t the numbers Aaron Boone wanted out of Morales, who was just signed as a batter. He was released officially on July 2.
Feature Image Courtesy of USA TODAY Sports.