Chicago Cubs: Played the game like a breath of fresh air
2. All-Cubs Awards – Outfielder, Nicholas Castellanos
Chicago Cubs outfielder, Nicholas Castellanos came onto the Cubs team like a breath of fresh air and never stopped. Listen, we know that the chances of getting Castellanos back in a Cubs uniform are slim but let’s recognize that this guy that came in with two months left in the season, left it all on the field for our team. The fans know it and talk about it daily in groups. They would love to have him back but almost everyone understands that the Cubs don’t have the money for him that he really deserves.
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Castellanos became a leader of the club in a very short time. Fans loved him and especially the 1.002 OPS he had with the team. It was like nothing that had happened all season for the Cubs.
Every time Castellanos was up to bat there was chance this was going to be a home run or he was going to get on base. There was hardly any doubt. In 212 at-bats for the Cubs, Castellanos struck out 47 times but got 68 hits that included 21 doubles and 16 home runs.
"“Man, I love everything about Nick Castellanos,” Theo Epstein said in his end-of-season presser Monday afternoon. “What a job he did coming in. I don’t think you can ask more of an in-season trade acquisition than what he did. The production, the consistency, the dynamic at-bats that he had and then the way he went about it — just with a lot of passion, a lot of professionalism, a lot of hard work, a team-oriented approach. Really became invested in the Cubs and his teammates in a short period of time. “"
That was evident on 30 August when Castellanos already hit a two-run homer in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers but an inning later hits a four-seam fastball to extend the Cubs lead to 5-0. This hit may go down as legend to Cubs fans as Castellanos coffin-slammed the bat against the ground before rounding the bases.
Beside his prowess at bat, Castellanos played humbly among his new-found successes with the Cubs and told the media of his struggle with his father’s brain cancer which many fans related to. Castellanos often repeated how happy he was to be in Chicago.
It didn’t hurt that Castellanos embraced Cubs fans and the Wrigley-way of life. During an interview he stood and listened to the mantra song of “Go-Cubs-Go” just blown away by the fans singing, right after sweeping the Milwaukee Brewers in August. Castellanos looked around him and said,
"“Listen to these people.”"
He told reporters that it’s like a new boost of energy every time he played in Wrigley Field. That attitude and Cubs spirit endeared Castellanos to fans last season. The only other consideration for the number two spot of the All-Cubs Awards was Willson Contreras for his enthusiastic approach to every game and his heroic stand against the harsh treatment of the people of Venezuela.
However, Contreras just couldn’t match the dynamic spirit and boost that Castellanos brought to the Cubs last season when compared side-by-side. Based on my criteria, Chicago Cubs outfielder Nicholas Castellanos takes this year’s silver or second place finish in the “2019 All-Cub Awards”.